'We shouldn't panic, I think this wave is very likely going to be less severe'
The Omicron variant is driving the rise of cases in South Africa and experts believe Gauteng province is already in the fourth wave of the pandemic.
In the last 24-hour cycle, the province recorded 6,168 positive cases.
Research is ongoing but scientists believe the vaccines will likely remain effective against severe disease caused by Omicron.
Bongani Bingwa speaks to the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand Professor Shabir Madhi about this.
In Tshwane for example, we are already sitting at 50% (positivity rate). When the positivity rate is above 10% in two consecutive weeks then we could declare that we are in a wave. The case numbers in Gauteng are increasing exponentially.Professor Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences - Wits University
What is going to happen unfortunately with people that are unvaccinated particularly people above the age of 50 they are going to end up in the hospital and risking their lives.Professor Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences - Wits University
I think we shouldn't panic because I do think this particular wave is very likely going to be less severe than what we saw in the last three waves. The number of cases is going to exceed 40,000 cases and I wouldn't be surprised if it happens.Professor Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences - Wits University
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 51,977 tests were conducted in the last 24hrs, with 8,561 new cases, which represents a 16.5% positivity rate. A further 28 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89,871 to date. See more here: https://t.co/X0vY4ETj4i pic.twitter.com/NgjtzIOcW5— NICD (@nicd_sa) December 1, 2021
Listen to the full interview below:
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