Kubayi-Ngubane urges public to be cautious as delta variant dominates infections

The variant first identified in India and made its way on our shores in May this year, appears to be more dominant in South Africa, and has resulted in the rapid rise of infections.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane visited Bara Hospital on Saturday. Picture: Gauteng Province.

JOHANNESBURG – Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has warned South Africans to be extra cautious as the delta variant that found its way into the country is more transmissible and spreads faster.

The variant first identified in India and made its way on our shores in May this year appears to be more dominant in South Africa, and has resulted in the rapid rise of infections.

Kubayi-Ngubane and a panel of experts gave an update on Saturday on government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa has been fiercely hit by a third wave and Gauteng is bearing most of the brunt.

The province is seeing a record number of daily infections with more than 11,000 new infections recorded on Saturday.

The new delta variant is driving the COVID-19 third wave in South Africa.

In recent weeks there has been an increase in new infections, hospitalisations, and deaths across the country.

The acting health minister said the variant is spreading fast, and she warned South Africans should be more vigilant.

"Nationally the numbers have surpassed the first wave peak, and we are likely to surpass the second wave."

According to experts, the delta variant is dominating infections in South Africa. The variant which was first discovered in India, in October 2020, is more transmissible than any other.

READ: COVID-19 delta variant more transmissible than any other

A recent study, however, found that both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are effective against the variant - if taken in two doses.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation at 8 pm on Sunday night, as cases continue to surge.

In the past 24 hours South Africa racked up 17,958 new cases of COVID-19, with the country’s death toll almost at 60,000.

The country has again crossed the 150,000 threshold in active cases of COVID-19 this weekend.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases reports South Africa is currently dealing with 152, 013 active cases of the disease.

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