Omicron mutation gives South Africa a new corona wave

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Earlier than expected, South Africa is now facing a new wave of the corona. The country’s low vaccination rate is also to blame.

South Africa is on the cusp of a new wave of Corona infections, according to Health Minister Joe Phaahla. “Whichever way you look at it, it suggests that we may be entering the fifth wave much earlier,” Phaahla said Friday at a televised news conference.

According to the Secretary, the number of new Corona infections and hospitalizations had spiked in the past two weeks. New cases were dominated by Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, which also characterized the previous Corona wave in South Africa. Phaahla said careful monitoring would be done in the coming days to see if the increase in cases confirms a new lock.

New infections are currently at several thousand cases daily. A few weeks ago, they had been at a few hundred per day. According to Phaahla, there were initially no indications of a new variant of the virus. Scientists had previously suggested that one might be driving the country’s fifth wave of infections, expected during the winter season from May into June. The country’s three provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape – currently account for 85 percent of new infections.

South Africa has counted more than 252,000 Corona deaths in the pandemic. However, the actual numbers are believed to be far higher. According to official figures, South Africa accounted for more than a quarter of the 11.4 million infections in Africa. Over 44 percent of South Africa’s adult population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

  • source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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