COVID-19 FIFTH WAVE

The data for 16/05/2022 is favourable for Mzansi – Image via Unsplash

Promising news! SA’s fifth wave of COVID ‘already slowing down’

Although it’s too early to celebrate at the moment, those crunching SA’s fifth wave numbers have found some reasons to be cheerful.

COVID-19 FIFTH WAVE

The data for 16/05/2022 is favourable for Mzansi – Image via Unsplash

Well, when the top experts are saying things like this, it brings us an enormous sense of relief. The fifth wave of COVID is far from over in South Africa, but there are now ‘tentative signs’ that the resurgence is running out of steam.

Omicron sub-variants in South Africa ‘driving fifth wave’

The BA.4 and BA.5 strains of Omicron have been responsible for driving a recent rise in new infections. The fifth wave has been rumbling on for the past few weeks, and despite initial spikes in the data, we haven’t witnessed the runaway figures that were reported in December 2021.

The initial arrival of Omicron sparked a global panic – but as case numbers increased, hospitalisations and deaths remained fairly flat. This fifth wave seems to be even less of a threat – as it is being driven by sub-variants, rather than a completely new mutation.

Is SA’s latest surge of COVID now hitting the wall?

So, what indicators have got the experts feeling so confident?

  • New cases are now ‘flattening out’, and appear to have reached their peak.
  • The infection rate is also slowing down – the seven-day average for new infections has shown a slower growth rate in the past week.
  • The test-positivity rate, though still high, is ‘holding steady’ at just under 25%
  • This is consistent with data received from data last week, where most provincial indicators starting trending downwards.
  • If the fifth wave does peak here, it’s total number of infections will be just ONE-THIRD of those reported in the 2021 Omicron wave.
  • CSIR researcher Ridhwaan Suliman has put the data into a visual context for us here…

Fifth wave figures dubbed ‘tentatively promising’

It’s more than likely that the national figures are being heavily influenced by the situation in Gauteng. South Africa’s most densely-populated province was one of the first regions to enter the fifth wave – and it looks like it’ll lead the way for declining COVID figures.

Quite simply, this is the kind of data we LOVE to see!