Fears over South Africa’s Covid-19 ‘doubling rate’ as it passes Germany and France in total cases

South Africa recorded its worst 24-hour Covid-19 casualty rate on Tuesday, following the death of 192 people.

The country also recorded in excess of 10,000 new infections over the same period, and has surpassed both Germany and France for the total number of infections.

South Africa now has 215,855 total cases, versus for 196,944 in Germany and in 168,335 in France. The country has also jumped ahead of Turkey (206,844) and Saudi Arabia (213,716) at the latest tally.

South Africa now has the 14th highest number of Covid-19 infections globally. Worse, the country’s ‘doubling rate’ is currently higher than all country’s ahead of it. The doubling rate of an infectious disease or epidemic is referred to as the time taken for the total number of cases to double.

Ridhwaan Suliman, senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), noted that with daily record number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa set to continue until we start to peak (August – September), instead of looking at absolute numbers it might be better to look at relative total increase or doubling rate.

The Western Cape has the most cases currently, with 72,156 (33.4), however, Gauteng is set to overtake the province in the coming days, following a surge in the country’s smallest province. Gauteng has 71,488 (33.1%) cases.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee, said it was always expected that the virus would spread the fastest in Gauteng for two reasons:

  • The number of foreign and domestic travellers are the highest in Gauteng.
  • The province has the highest population density – Johannesburg is South Africa’s New York equivalent.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned of  high case numbers in July and August in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane said on Tuesday that a risk-adjusted, differentiated approach must be implemented to rescue the province.

As of Monday, the province remained the third worst hit province, with 38,081 Covid-19 cases and the second highest provincial death toll, with 528 deceased.

“We’re now really facing the eye of the storm. It’s no longer about the issue of the peak. We’re now there in the middle of a crisis,” the premier said.

The number of overall recoveries in South Africa is 102,299, with 4,451 additional recoveries over a 24-hour period.


Read: 215,855 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 3,502

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Fears over South Africa’s Covid-19 ‘doubling rate’ as it passes Germany and France in total cases