New infections and test positivity rates on the up, with high levels of population immunity, and over 40% of the country being fully vaccinated, should the alarm be sounded? Professor Shabir Madhi, who is a Professor of Vaccinology, as well as Dean Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University joins us. #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - Covid-19 numbers are trending upwards, with new infections and test positivity increasing.
On Monday, 1,954 new cases were identified with a positivity rate of over 19 percent.
That means nearly two of every ten tests are positive.
But Professor Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist at Wits University, says there's no need to panic just yet.
"We need to be cautious in how we interpret current data, especially around the positivity rate. What's also occurred is that we've become much more selective over who is being tested so people that are more likely to have Covid are testing, the overall testing rate is decreasing," he said.
"At the same time looking at other indices, including surveillance of wastewater, there appears to be more viruses circulating so very much the start of another resurgence but nothing to worry about because this particular resurgence appears to be due to the BA4 variant which is a sub-lineage of the parent Omicron variant.
"A high percentage -- probably more than 85 percent of South Africans -- have got some level of protection either through infection or vaccination and probably close on 40 percent of people have been recently infected with Omicron as well and you would get cross-protection against this particular variant."