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If Absa’s predictions are to be believed, South Africa can expect the fifth wave of Covid-19 soon.

Absa interim CEO Jason Quinn said that they “anticipate a fifth wave. We think it will start as early as late next month”.

As part of its preparations for the fifth wave, the bank says it has increased its Covid-19 provisions for its insurance business by another R330 million.

News24 reports that new daily Covid-19 infections in South Africa are currently below 1 000 a day, and there have been no new deaths recorded in the official tally in the past two days.

Although the country is waiting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce the end of the State of National Disaster, rumours on social media are doing the rounds that it has been extended for another month until middle April 2022.

Absa told News24 that Covid-19 claims in the fourth wave were better than its insurance business expected. So, it might be the case that the fifth wave could also be less severe than the third wave. The third wave was the one that hit local life insurers hard.

It’s widely believed that the number of deaths won’t increase per wave as the level of vaccination has increased.

Absa announced that it has R146 million left from provisions set aside in June 2021. The bank has since decided to top it up to R330 million. Absa’s financial director, Punki Modise confirmed that this amount is just for Covid-19 provisions and that other amounts have been set aside for other ordinary death claims.

Image credit: Times Live 

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