Lethabo Malatsi
2 minute read
9 May 2022
4:29 pm

Gauteng back at the top again with daily Covid infections

Lethabo Malatsi

Through communication with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa, the department has not detected any new variants.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla briefs media Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, 9 May 2022, after the official reopening of the accident and emergency units. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Although Gauteng is leading above 50% in the number of daily reported Covid-19 cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape province, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla on Monday reiterated that South Africa was not in the midst of the fifth wave of Covid infections.

Phaahla also confirmed that no new variant of the virus had been detected in the country.

“As to whether we can define it as the beginning of the 5th wave, we would have to look at it further, the rise has not been as steep as the previous waves,” Phaahla said.

He was speaking at the re-opening of Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJH).   

Through communication with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa (NICD) and epidemiologist, the department has not detected any new variants.

However, there has been an increase in cases due to the recent gatherings.

Joe Phaahla - Charlotte
Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, 9 May 2022, at the official reopening of the accident and emergency units by Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Joe Phaahla - Charlotte
Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, 9 May 2022, at the official reopening of the accident and emergency units by Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Fifth wave

Meanwhile, experts warned that South Africa is already in the fifth wave. As Professor Tulio de Oliveira – Director of CERI (Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, and KRISP said the positivity ratio is as high as the previous four weeks.

With more than 5,486 new reported cases and a 25.3% positivity rate recorded on Sunday.

On Saturday, South Africa’s positivity rate had risen above 30% for the first time in almost five months, primarily due to the spread of two Omicron sublineages.

ALSO READ: Charlotte Maxeke casualty reopens, but not ready to fully resume operations

Hospital admissions

According to Phaahla, hospital admissions are still below 3000 both in public and private; however, on Sunday Nicd reported an increase of 43 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Vaccines

South Africans are urged to vaccine as there is a decline in the vaccination rate in the country.

Executive director of NICD, Professor Adrian Puren said the slow vaccination rate is concerning, and different strategies would be required to persuade citizens to vaccinate.

The health department says vaccines will be increased in areas mostly affected by integrating vaccines sites.

ALSO READ: Calls to vaccinate as SA nears highest Covid-19 positivity rate record