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New COVID-19 Variants Will Be Closely Monitored – Cloete

Newer versions of the Omicron variant are pushing the country’s COVID-19 infection rate up.

That’s according to Western Cape head of health, Dr Keith Cloete.

He says even though infections and hospital admissions have been on the rise in the past week, there’s no need for alarm.

“We’ve seen BA 1,2 and now 3,4 and 5. BA4 and 5 have been responsible for the increase in cases in the last three to four weeks,” he said.

“The changes in BA 4 and 5 are an indication of waning immunity. Our bigger hope is the protection in the T-cells.

“The vaccine protects us from severe diseases. BA 4 and 5 will drive the fifth wave and that will unfold in the next couple of weeks.”