South Africa can board the wave COVID-19 Thursday earlier than expected after cases had steadily increased over the past 14 days due to subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron.
South Africa – the country with the most cases and deaths from COVID-19 on the African continent – just emerged from the 4th wave of the epidemic in January. South Africa predicts the fifth wave could start in May or June, early winter in the southern hemisphere.
South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on April 29 that the number of deaths or hospitalizations in intensive care units has not changed much so far, despite rising hospital admissions. Cut.
He said no new variants other than those in the circulating Omicron variant have been reported to health authorities at this time.
Infectious disease expert Richard Lessells also said weakened immunity from previous waves could be contributing to an earlier-than-expected resurgence of cases.
According to the expert, the increasing infection rate by the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of Omicron indicates that these subvariants have a growth advantage over other subvariants of Omicron such as BA. .2.
So far, however, there is no evidence that BA.4 and BA.5 cause significantly more severe diseases, said expert Waasila Jassat from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in South Africa.
South Africa has recorded more than 3.7 million COVID-19 cases and more than 100,000 deaths during the pandemic. On April 28, the World Health Organization’s Africa office said cases in South Africa were the main reason behind the increase in cases on the African continent.
Senior health official Nicholas Crisp also revealed South Africa has enough doses Covid-19 vaccination and no more plans to buy.
He said the South African government has no intention of buying Pfizer’s COVID-19 drug Paxlovid for public sector patients, in part because the drug is so expensive.