South Africa: an increase in Covid-19 cases raises fears of a new wave

Members of the South African police get vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, on July 6, 2021, in Soweto.

© AP - Alet Pretorius

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

While South Africa has so far experienced a lull on the front of the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent increase in cases could presage the arrival of a new wave in the coming weeks.


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg,

Claire Bargelès

The most affected country on the continent has passed the 100,000 death mark from the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Even if it is not yet the time to worry, scientists and authorities are closely scrutinizing any sign of a possible rise in cases.

The South African Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, even speaks of “ 

worrying signs

 ” which will continue to be closely scrutinized by the authorities to best manage a possible resurgence of cases.

The number of contaminations has, in fact, started to rise again with, over the past two days, more than 4,000 cases detected daily, and above all a positivity rate (i.e. the percentage of positive cases compared to the number of tests) which exceeds 15%.

It is still too early to speak of the appearance of a fifth wave but the authorities remind that even if most of the restrictions have been lifted, vigilance is still required, and the country could be hit again while the austral winter is brewing.

Not to mention that vaccination still caps at 30%.

The Omicron sub-variants detected in South Africa (BA.4 and BA.5) also continue to be closely monitored, although scientists indicate that there are currently no reason for alarm.

Read also: Variant Omicron: South Africa calls for the lifting of travel restrictions

The country had reached a record peak of contamination during the last wave, in December, but this did not translate into a massive increase in deaths and hospitalizations.


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  • South Africa

  • Coronavirus