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South Africa's new COVID-19 cases cross 10,000 for first time since January

South Africa's new COVID-19 cases cross 10,000 for first time since January

People sit in line as they wait to register next to the Transvaco coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine train, after South Africa's rail company Transnet turned the train into a COVID-19 vaccination center on rails to help the government speed up its vaccine rollout in the country's remote communities, at the Springs train station on the East Rand, South Africa, Aug 30, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Wednesday reported 10,017 new COVID-19 cases, the first day since January the institute has reported more than 10,000 new infections.

Health authorities have warned South Africa may be entering a fifth wave of infections driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants.

South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent and only exited a fourth wave in January.

Experts had predicted a fifth wave could start during the southern hemisphere winter months, sometime in May or June.

Just under 50 per cent of South Africa's adult population of roughly 40 million have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, with 45 per cent of adults fully vaccinated.

The pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent months, with officials warning that shots risk being discarded.

Initially the vaccination campaign was dogged by difficulties securing early supplies but later by hesitancy.

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Source: Reuters/ec

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