According to the latest research conducted by the SA National Blood Service (SANBS), the Western Cape Blood Service, and the SA Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (Sacema) at Stellenbosch University, low levels of coronavirus antibodies among adults in Gauteng partly explain why infections have spread so fast in the region.

Alex Welte, research professor at Sacema, said that while relatively low antibody levels in Gauteng - which suggests a relatively larger proportion of its population is vulnerable to infection - may partly explain its sharp rise in cases, other factors such as the recent detection of the Delta variant could also play a role. The variant, which was first detected in India in October 2020, is more transmissible than the original strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan.

The study estimated that 43%  of SA’s population has antibodies to SARSCoV-2.

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