Rise in COVID cases suggests SA entering fifth wave - Phaahla

The minister said that with infections rising to over 6,000 a day, the coutry looked to be ultimately heading towards a fifth wave of infections.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that there were conflicting opinions on whether the country had entered a fifth wave but there had definitely been a rise in coronavirus infections.

The minister has given details on the rising COVID-19 numbers, saying that the Omicron variant still appeared to be dominating infections.

He said that scientists had not noticed a new variant yet.

"We've also been informed that when the new wave comes it will be driven by a new variant but at this stage, we have not been alerted to a definite new variant, except changes in the Omicron, which is now just a sub-variant of Omicron."

The minister said that with infections rising to over 6,000 a day, the country looked to be ultimately heading towards a fifth wave of infections.

"Whichever way we look at it, it does suggest that we may be entering the fifth wave much earlier and possibly we just have to wait a few more days, maybe another seven days, to be sure that this was not just a sporadic uptick," Minister Phaahla said.

He also said that three provinces were particularly affected, accounting for 87% of cases.

"Gauteng province alone accounted for 53% of the positive cases, KwaZulu-Natal 23% and the Western Cape 11%," the minister said.

WATCH: Phaahla: There has been a sharp uptick in COVID-19 infections