JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Reuters) – New coronavirus infections in South Africa appear to be dominated by the Delta variant that was first identified in India, scientists said on Saturday as a third wave sweeps the hard-hit African country.
South Africa is the continent’s worst-affected nation in terms of coronavirus cases and deaths, accounting for roughly a third of confirmed infections and more than 40% of deaths.
But the rollout of vaccines has been slow, with just 2.7 million administered so far out of a population of 60 million.
The country’s second coronavirus wave was driven by the Beta variant first detected locally, but the Delta variant now looks to be leading new infections, specialists said.
“A new variant seems to be not only arising, but it seems to start dominating the infections in South Africa,” Professor Tulio de Oliveira at the University of KwaZulu-Natal told a news conference.