Several countries in Africa have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in recent weeks but health experts have warned of an impending fifth wave of coronavirus infections.
The Deltacron variant, a mixture of the Omicron and Delta variants, has been driving up COVID-19 cases worldwide and has also appeared in South Africa.
In a television interview, medical expert Dr Vivek Solanki said the Deltacron variant is expected to be highly contagious and could soon spread to the rest of Africa. He said:
It is a mixture of the Omicron and the Delta variant, and it’s where there is one spike of the Omicron variant on the Delta variant.
It is expected to be more contagious than Omicron; however, not necessarily more deadly.
It has been spreading and is mostly in France at the moment, Denmark, Germany, Holland, the US, in Asia, and has now made an appearance in South Africa and will soon spread to the rest of Africa.
The fifth wave, we expect it around the end of April/May to take off really seriously. However, we should be at the side of caution and not overreact and panic.
This is similar to Omicron. It’s like the flu, chances are a lot of people will catch it.
Most people, around 95/96 (per cent), would just recover the symptoms and signs of it.
There will be extremely few people that might end up hospitalised, and those are the ones who are more prone to it with high comorbid conditions and high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and auto-immune disorders.
Zimbabwe is currently battling the fourth wave but infections have remained subdued with the test positivity rate also below 10 per cent.