Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng likely to experience a greater third wave than rest of the country

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published May 19, 2021

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Nationally, it is predicted that the third wave will not be as severe as the second wave, however, experts are saying that certain provinces might be harder hit than others.

Senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Ridhwaan Suliman said that provinces such as Gauteng, the Free State and the Northern Cape are experiencing their sharpest increases to date.

New Covid-19 cases are doubling every 10 days in Gauteng as the province is witnessing its sharpest increase. Cases have increased by over 60% compared to a week ago.

Suliman said the province’s increase is contributing the most to the increasing cases nationally.

“Gauteng is the most populous province and has some of the most densely populated areas, this means infection rates can spread quite rapidly. It is also the economic and transport hub which means there's a lot of movement into and out of the province and this could easily spread to neighbouring provinces and across the rest of the country,” he said.

Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced the province officially entered the third wave as the Emfuleni region in the Vaal saw a spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases.

The Northern Cape, the Free State and the North West are also formally in their third wave and that's based on the number of cases surpassing a threshold of 30% of the population.

“The Northern Cape is currently reporting its highest level of cases at any point during the pandemic, higher than its previous highest point which is a concern even though it is one of the smaller provinces by population. It is quite a large outbreak in relation to the size of its population and remains on an upward trend,” said Suliman.

Premiere of the Western Cape, Alan Winde said he has no doubt that the third wave has almost arrived in the country.

“Luckily in the Western Cape, our case numbers are still way down, but we are already in what we are called a resurgence state. With the seven-day rolling averages, we are getting over the 20% mark.”

“Most importantly, those who are at risk which are the over-60s, please get registered. Let's get you into the vaccination system as quickly as possible. Let's protect you,” said Winde.

Nationally, the country remains on a sustained increase, said Suliman, as each day an average of 2 500 cases are reported per day.

“On average the country has seen a 40% increase in cases in comparison to last week,” he said.

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