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South Africa is quietly entering the fifth wave

South Africa is quietly entering the fifth wave

Perhaps due to the omicron sub-variants, South Africa is experiencing a new wave of Covid. However, there is no evidence so far that the course of the disease is more serious than it has been recently.

There were signs for several weeks. Experts have increasingly found the coronavirus in South African wastewater. The positivity rate, that is, the proportion of positive test results, has risen steadily – most recently to 16%. The volume of testing in the most important emerging country in Africa is lower than in most European countries, so this figure is particularly revealing.

On Tuesday, the Center for Epidemic Innovation and Response (CERI) was sure: “The fifth wave is here. ‘Take care of yourselves,’” the South African Research Foundation said. It is led by virologist Tulio de Oliveira, who is best known for his important role in discovering beta and omicron variants – one of the Remarkably large numbers of internationally renowned scholars are in the country.

While 2020 saw some of the strictest lockdowns in the world (strict curfews, tobacco and alcohol bans), the next wave has been met with equanimity so far. Especially since the 7-day infection rate is low. It is 27 in Greater Johannesburg, 23 in Greater Cape Town and 13 in Durban.

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