Johannesburg – Health Minister Joe Phaahla has on Thursday afternoon convened an urgent briefing on the latest developments around Covid-19 and the country’s vaccination programme.
This comes after the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Thursday confirmed a new Covid-19 variant called B.1.1.529.
South Africa has recorded twenty-two positive cases following genomic sequencing collaborations between the NICD and private laboratories.
The minister said South Africa has seen a steady increase in infections, with the majority recorded in Gauteng.
“In the last four to five days, there has been a more exponential rise starting about eight days ago where we had a total daily infection rate of 273 positive cases and as of yesterday, we passed the 1,000 mark.”
Director of research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal professor Tulio De Oliveira presented information about the newly detected variant.
“Unfortunately, we have detected a new variant. It is the reason for concern. The main message is that you have to know the enemy that you have to fight,” said De Oliveira.