Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Third wave of Covid-19: South Africa is almost there, says Prof Schoub

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published May 24, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Only Gauteng, Free State and Northern Cape have entered the third wave of the pandemic, but Professor Barry Schoub, who is the chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on vaccines, says we are almost there nationally.

South Africa has seen a troubling upward trend in positive Covid-19 cases in the past weeks. Gauteng, which entered a third wave more than a week ago, recorded the highest number of new infections at 1 107, followed by the Northern Cape at 419.

Nearly 3 000 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours in the country, which represents a 9.9 percent positivity rate.

Graphic: National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Schoub said: “There are a number of ways a third wave is defined. Once the positive percentage reaches over 10 percent is one way to tell. We look at the percentage increase over 30 percent to the previous wave.

“Some provinces are in the third wave. In Gauteng, the metrics seem to indicate that we are in a third wave. Other provinces such as the Northern Cape and Free State are definitely in the third wave. Nationally, we are almost there.”

Meanwhile, data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) shows that KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and the Western Cape have experienced sustained increases over the past couple of weeks.

“Northern Cape is the only province that never exited the second wave of Covid-19 infections.The province recently recorded a 68% increase in the daily infection rate in a seven-day reporting period, which is the highest in the country,” said Professor Adrian Puren, the NICD’s acting executive director.

In South Africa, the total case load of Covid-19 infections is now at 1 635 465, and more than 55 000 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

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