Health worker at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing site.

The increasing COVID-19 infection rate among young people could lead South Africa into a fully-blown fifth wave.

That is according to Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia, the Chief Executive Officer of Higher Health, an organisation that safeguards the health of students and youth.

Following the Easter holidays, the country has recorded an increased positivity rate of about 25%.

Ahluwalia has attributed the increase to behavioural changes and the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations.

“South Africa has seen a massive jump, and there are factors happening to cause this, and one is that we have just recently concluded the festive season in SA. Huge socialisation with students, people came back from work, this was the time to be with the family and the festive season brought large socialisation. The winter season started coming much earlier than we anticipated, we have seen weather changes, quite a substantial change and when the weather becomes cold, people start going indoors and most of these events started happening, indoor events started happening.”

On Sunday the National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported 5 486 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 841 388.  Seven more deaths were also recorded bringing the total fatalities to 100 523.

24 675 963 tests have been conducted in both the public and private sectors.