South Africa’s health experts say they are ready to respond to a fourth Covid wave - as the Omicron variant presents with a higher transmissibility rate than previous infections.
Early data from the Gauteng province - which has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the country - show that there is a higher number of admissions in children under the age of five than in previous waves.
Scientists have said they will try and determine why this is the case.
In the last week, hospital admissions have steadily increased but are still well below hospital capacity.
Epidemiologists here say it is still too early to determine if the variant will cause severe disease. They say this will become clearer in the few weeks as the surge reaches its peak and more cases present in hospitals.
At this stage, most people who have tested positive have reported mild symptoms.
Meanwhile, the government says it now has enough oxygen supplies for hospitals. Severe oxygen shortages were reported in the last wave and it is a crisis it is keen to avoid.
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