Thursday, 13 May 2021

Pretoria: While the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing, South Africa has not hit the third wave yet.

According to the Department of Health, the number of new infections peaked from 8 593 cases between 26 April to 2 May. Between 3 May and 9 May, cases rose to 12 531, constituting a 46% increase.

South Africa’s COVID-19 cases have crossed the 1.6 million mark, after 2 759 new cases were logged on Wednesday.

“The 14-days comparisons also showed that the cases increased from 17 017 to 21 124 cases in the last 14 days, an overall 24% increase,” said the department.

According to the department, all provinces showed a positive percentage increase with the Northern Cape showing a 68% peak in the last seven days, followed by Gauteng at 63%, Limpopo at 47%, North West at 42% and the Western Cape at 39%.

“As much as these figures are worrying, our resurgence dashboard, which was developed by the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium, which is updated thrice a week, still shows that we have not, as the country reached a resurgence threshold though some districts in the country are fast approaching the threshold,” the department’s statement read.

Deaths

In addition, the new COVID-19 related deaths increased by 18.22% in the last week (3 May to 9 May) to 318 from 269 in the previous seven days (26 April to 2 May).

“However, the 14-days comparison showed the deaths decreased by 28.93% to 587 in the last 14 days compared to 826 in the preceding 14 days,” the department said, adding that the cumulative case fatality ratio is 3.43%.

Healthcare workers

The department said 25 healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19 between 3 May and 9 May, pushing the cumulative number to 56 059 to date.

According to the department, 7 839 required admission, 6 881 have been discharged and 83 are currently admitted.

“Healthcare workers constitute 3.51% of all cases of COVID-19 reported in the country. Accumulatively, 874 deaths have been recorded among the healthcare workers.”

High alert

In the meantime, the department is working with provinces to update their resurgence plans to ensure that these are activated.

These plans mainly include case management, contact tracing, oxygen availability, bed capacity, respiratory support equipment and human resources.

“As the country, we are on high alert, and we know that the main drivers of the new wave will either be the resurgence of new variants and/or the fatigue from adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

The department is also working closely with the genomic sequencing team to ensure they can pick up new variants earlier.

“So we want to assure South Africans that we have not yet hit the third wave however we are at risk and we hence need to be on heightened vigilance as a country,” it said.