SA reports 8,015 new cases in 24 hours

South Africa has identified 8,015 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 78,349.

The country has also reported nine new deaths in the past 24 to 48 hours. The cumulative Covid-19 deaths are 100,753 to date.

Covid-19 fifth wave in SA

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa urged leaders in the SADC region to strengthen their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as infections spike dramatically.

On Thursday, National Health Minister Joe Phaahla confirmed South Africa entered the fifth wave, with infections driven by the Omicron lineage BA.4 and BA.5.

The fifth wave could resemble the previous wave in size and severity, according to health experts.

“Since the beginning of April, South Africa alone has recorded more than 1,300 cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.2 and over 700 cases of subvariants BA.4,” said WHO Africa regional director Abdou Salam Gueye.

The African continent recorded 52,878 Covid-19 cases in the week ending on 8 May, which represents a 38% rise from the week before, reports Power FM.

“This is largely driven by a spike in Southern Africa, which accounted for 87% of the continent’s recorded cases, breaking a two-month-long decline in recorded infections,” said Gueye.

The fifth wave of infections comes amid relaxed public health and social measures which were implemented at the start of the pandemic.

Health officials are urging South Africans to get their jabs and boosters to prevent high transmission rates.

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney