What to expect from the imminent fifth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa

Although the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections has not yet been officially declared, South Africa is experiencing a resurgence of cases.

On Friday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the numbers suggest South Africa is on the brink of a fifth wave.

This comes after Covid-19 infections spiked in the past two weeks.

However, hospital admissions and death rates did not show large increases, according to Dr. Waasila Jassat, a public health specialist at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Blocking restrictions

The looming fifth wave has led some South Africans to worry that strict lockdown restrictions will return.

READ ALSO: South Africa on the brink of the fifth wave of Covid-19 – Phaahla

Economists at Absa, in a research note on Tuesday, said a tightening of lockdown restrictions was unlikely.

However, the fifth wave is likely to have an economic impact on South Africa.

“While we believe the government will not seek to tighten lockdown restrictions, an increase in Covid-19 cases could still moderately affect economic activity through the trust channel and delay the recovery of tourism-related industries,” the note said. from Absa.

However, the increase in infections may lead to the government changing the current lockdown regulations.

This may include measures such as changing the rules on the use of face masks and social distancing.

While Absa economists said the next waves of Covid-19 will have a marginal impact on the country, they are more concerned about load shedding.

“We believe that structural reforms in the energy sector will take time to alleviate the energy shortage; therefore, loadshedding is likely to remain a constraint on growth at least till the end of 2023,” he said.

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