Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, Tulio De Oliveira, has warned that the latest surge in the spread of the coronavirus in Tshwane appears to be centered around universities and colleges.

Gauteng currently accounts for 80% of the new cases in South Africa.

Professor De Oliveira says young people in Tshwane appear to be most affected by the coronavirus at this time.

“Not a surprise. Normally, how this virus normally emerges here is through young people. That is the most sociable part of the population. And we’re still asking questions. Is this a cluster outbreak? Is it a real resurgence? Is it the start of the fourth wave? At the moment, nationally, it is at 1.47% and in Gauteng it’s approaching near 2%, really highlighting that we are expecting, unfortunately, to see a very fast increase of cases.”

De Oliveira has urged people, who are eligible, to get the vaccine as it is the best protection against the virus.

Health Department briefs media on latest developments around COVID-19: 

New variant detected in SA 

Professor De Oliveira has confirmed that a new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa.

The new variant is currently called B.1.1.529 and is expected to be given a Greek name tomorrow.

De Oliveira says vaccines are the best way to get protection from coronavirus. The Johnson and Johnson, as well as the Pfizer vaccines, are safe and highly effective against the coronavirus.

Scientists have warned that the new COVID variant carries an extremely high number of mutations that may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defences.

Africa CDC says it is in contact with SA health officials regarding the new variant: 

During the third wave, the Delta variant dominated infections in South Africa. At the time, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the variant was the most transmissible of the variants identified so far.

South Africa is now heading to the 4th wave of infections due to hit the country in December.

Below are the latest coronavirus stats: