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Early warning signs of Covid-19 fourth wave detected

By Hajira Khota                                                                                                                                                         24.11.2021

Gauteng is starting to display signs that the Covid-19 pandemic is about to enter its fourth wave. With the festive season approaching, unvaccinated South Africans may once again put the country’s hospitals under strain.

Geneticist professor Tulio de Oliveira of the University of KwaZulu-Natal said  that at this time, there are early warning indicators from laboratory data that a fourth wave may be commencing in Gauteng.

Dr Aslam Dasoo of the Progressive Health Forum spoke to Radio Islam International; he says that increased fragments of the virus are being discovered in the samples analysed for Covid-19 in Gauteng’s wastewater, indicating that a fourth wave may be on the way.

“This sought of sampling will precede an outbreak by 10 days which is an accurate assessment and a very good predictor.”

Scientists are tracking two new strains that may have an impact on the severity of the next wave of Covid–19 infections in South Africa. De Olivera stated that they are looking into a more transmissible Delta sub-lineage (AY.4.2) as well as a variant that could impair vaccine efficacy (B.1.640). He stated that they are “alerted but not concerned” about the new mutations, adding that the Delta sub-lineage is present in South Africa at a very low prevalence.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says it has observed an increase in the 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases in Gauteng, particularly in Tshwane amongst 10 – 29 year olds over the past week.

Delta ripped across countries like India and South Africa, driving India’s and South Africa’s healthcare systems to their knees. As a result, a more transmissible version of Delta is a major source of concern, particularly as South Africa prepares to welcome thousands of UK tourists during the holiday season. Since July, experts have warned that a fourth wave will hit South Africa in early December.

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