The National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NICD) has reported that 8,015 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in South Africa in the past 24 hours.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 78,349.
The country also reported nine new deaths in the last 24-48 hours. To date, the total number of deaths from Covid-19 is 100,753.
Fifth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa has urged the leaders of the SADC region to step up their response to the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of infections soar.
On Thursday, National Health Minister Joe Fahla confirmed that South Africa had entered its fifth wave with infections from the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 lines.
According to health experts, the fifth wave may resemble the previous wave in size and severity.
“Since the beginning of April, more than 1,300 cases of Omicron BA.2 subvariant and more than 700 BA.4 subvariant cases have been reported in South Africa alone,” said the WHO Regional Director for Africa. Abdou Salam Guye.
The African continent recorded 52,878 cases of Covid-19 in the week ending May 8, up 38% from the week before. Power FM reports.
“This is largely driven by the surge in South Africa, which accounts for 87% of reported cases on the continent, interrupting a two-month decline in reported infections,” Guie said.
The fifth wave of infections comes amid easing of public health and social protection measures that were taken at the beginning of the pandemic.
Health officials are urging South Africans to get shots and boosters to prevent high transmission rates.
Additional reporting on Narissa Subramoni