An increasing proportion of SA’s Covid-19 cases are the Omicron variant sublineages BA.4 and BA.5, suggesting these may have a growth advantage over others, Prof Helen Rees said on Thursday.
Rees added at a World Health Organization press conference that despite rising Covid-19 infections, SA has so far not seen a huge increase in mortality or ICU admissions.
The WHO said previously that Africa is seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases, largely due to a doubling of the cases reported in SA.
“This week, the new Covid-19 cases and deaths on the Continent for the first time after a decline of more than two months for cases and one month for deaths,” said Benido Impouma, director for communicable and non-communicable diseases at the Africa office of the WHO, at an online press conference.
“That push g is largely related to the increasing number of cases reported from SA as the country enters its winter season when respiratory illnesses are more common,” Impouma added.
Africa is experiencing a lull in Covid-19 cases, with WHO earlier this month pointing to the longest drop in weekly infections on the continent since the pandemic began. But last week, cases began to rise in South Africa – the country that has recorded the highest number of infections and deaths in Africa so far – and health officials are monitoring for signs of a fifth wave of infections the country’s (SA) cases have doubled and there is a small increase in hospital admissions,” said WHO’s Impouma.