The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says early epidemiological data suggests Omicron was able to evade some immunity. The NICD says existing vaccines should still protect against severe disease and death. The number of new cases reported in the country has doubled from Tuesday to yesterday. The new variant has been detected in 5 provinces. The first sample of the new variant was taken on the 8th of November in Gauteng.
The NICD’s Dr Harry Moultrie has meanwhile urged hesitant, unvaccinated South Africans to reconsider, and get vaccinated as soon as possible. The country is reportedly entering the fourth wave of the pandemic. The dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Shabir Madhi earlier said, Gauteng has already entered its fourth wave of infections. This was based on the province’s positivity rate of 19%. He says the other provinces are likely to follow in the next 3 to 4 weeks.
The City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate says it’s preparing for the fourth wave of infections. The city says vaccines and responsible social behaviour are the keys to offering the best protection against the virus.