Epidemiologist Professor Refilwe Phaswana-Mafunya, says South Africa, may have already entered the fifth wave of the covid-19 pandemic. New NICD data shows that the coronavirus test positivity rate has topped 30 percent for the first time in a number of months.
Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape account for more than 82% of the 8 524 new infections. However deaths remain low with five people passing away from COVID 19 in the last 24 to 48 hour reporting period. The BA4 and BA5 sub variants of Omicron are believed to be driving the wave of new infections and still appear to cause less severe disease – especially among vaccinated people. Phaswana-Mafunya says the increase in numbers could also mean that government should have a functional testing strategy. ”If numbers are something to go by, in terms of the new cases, we seem to be in the fifth wave. The positivity rate has to do with the testing that is being conducted, and it’s to underscore the fact that this can be a function of a number of factors, for example, efficiencies in testing can lead to higher positivity rate.”