Dec 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

SA records highest positivity rate yet of Covid-19 fifth wave

SA’s daily Covid-19 test positivity rate rose to its highest level on Wednesday amid the fifth wave of infections.

6,170 new Covid-19 cases were identified, giving a positivity rate of 22.6 % matches those tested, with the majority of cases in Gauteng at 41%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 27%, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on its website.

SA is still a long way from earlier records. The highest daily number of new cases was 26,976, reached on December 15, and the highest positivity rate was 33.4%, reported on January 4. However, the fifth wave arrives at the beginning of winter and shortly after the country ended its more than two-year national state of disaster.

While the state of disaster has ended, the government has enacted new health laws requiring proof of vaccinations or negative testing for some gatherings and the continued wearing of masks indoors.

Perhaps the fifth wave is the least onerous so far. The new sublines of Omicron appear to be less severe than the original, and the fifth wave is unlikely to cause “anywhere near” the number of hospitalizations and deaths that occurred when Omicron first emerged, according to Prof Shabir Madhi, a vaccinator at in November, the University of the Witwatersrand surfaced.

Yet health experts and the government are urging citizens to get vaccinated, get their booster shots and continue to take precautionary measures.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com