Dr Owen Kaluva of the World Health Organization urged South Africans to get vaccinated urgently as the country approaches a new record for Covid-19 positives amid the fifth wave.
Speaking with City PressDr. Kaluva, said scientists “predicted it would happen around this time.”
Fifth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa
Residents urged to get vaccinated
Kaluva said that the debate about whether we are in the fifth wave or not is not our focus.” Instead, rising new infections should encourage people to get vaccinated.
“Now, given the rising number of infections, it is important that those who are not vaccinated do so as a matter of urgency. This includes those who are partially vaccinated,” he said.
However, we are still a long way from reaching the delta peak, with hundreds of people dying daily and 16,000 hospitalizations per day on average.
Covid-19 positivity rate in South Africa
The positivity rate indicates how quickly the disease is spreading in the community, which is a vital indicator as many cases go undetected.
On Saturday, South Africa’s positivity rate topped 30% for the first time in nearly five months, largely due to the spread of two Omicron sub-lines.
More than 8,500 new cases were identified on Thursday (31.1% of those tested positive), followed by 5486 new cases on Sunday (25.3% of positive results).
This is the highest positive rate since December, when 32,884 cases were reported on December 14 (34.9% positive reviews) and 26,976 on December 15 (32.2%).
New Omicron sublines
In April, South African scientists identified two sub-lineages of omicrons, BA.4 and BA.5. Accordingly, strains can re-infect those who already had the original strain.
At the time, NICD executive director Prof Adrian Puren said scientists were conducting research to determine the effectiveness of vaccines on sub-options.
He said South Africa’s low vaccination rate was a concern and different strategies would be needed to convince citizens to get vaccinated.
“It is very difficult, we are trying with different strategies to get people to get vaccinated, trying to convince them that this is more serious than the flu,” Puren said.
Removes signs of the fifth wave
Meanwhile, Professor Tulio de Oliveira – The director of CERI (Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation and KRISP) said that the latest statistics are a clear sign of the fifth wave.
“The positivity ratio is as high as it was in the previous four weeks,” he said. “Please take care of yourself and don’t get hung up on the need for a new variant to create a new wave.”
Death toll from Covid-19
There have been 43 hospitalizations and five deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NICD).
The total number of Covid-19 related deaths is currently 100,523.
Despite the sharp increase in new cases, the government has not yet imposed quarantine restrictions.