SA could face Covid-19 resurgence in May or June – Madhi
Cape Town - South Africa could witness a resurgence of Covid-19 or its third wave in the winter months of May and June as people are likely to gather indoors where there is poor ventilation, says professor of vaccinology at Wits University Shabir Madhi.
He was speaking during a Wits Business School Leadership webinar.
“We need to recalibrate and we need to plan for a resurgence that might come out in May or June, but it might occur earlier if we allow for mass gatherings to take place over the Easter period,” he said.
“The other big unknown, in terms of a resurgence, is whether the virus will undergo even further evolution which makes it even more resistant to the Covid-19 vaccines that are available.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening that the country would move to alert level 1 from Monday with an easing of restrictions on gatherings, the sale of alcohol and curfew.
The president said that despite the move, the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 infections remained.
“The easing of restrictions should not be viewed as a reason to abandon precautions. The threat of a third wave is constantly present, as is the threat of yet more new variants,” said Ramaphosa.
The 501Y.v2 variant has been largely responsible for driving the spike in infections in South Africa during the second wave of the pandemic.
"Because the new variant is transmitted more easily, it has the potential to infect more people, place a greater strain on our health system and lead to a greater loss of life," he said.