New Covid-19 data shows infections rising in these areas – as third wave hits South Africa

 ·13 May 2021

Mkhize has warned provincial departments to prepare for a rise in cases in the coming weeks as the country is hit by a third wave of Covid-19 infections.

In a note sent on Wednesday (12 May), Mkhize said that while the technical definitions have not officially been met, the steep rise in infections means that the country is now experiencing the start of a third Covid-19 wave.

He added that South Africa’s Covid-19 numbers will no longer go down unless it starts intensive containment measures.

The Department of Health warned that Covid-19 infections climbed 46% in the last week, adding that some areas are “fast approaching” a resurgence threshold, although the country as a whole has not yet reached that stage yet.

The data comes after health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reported 2,759 new cases over the past 24 hour period, the highest daily infection rate in some time.

“As of today, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 1,602,031 the total number of deaths is 54,968 the total number of recoveries is 1,519,734 and the total number of vaccines administered is 430,730,” the minister said.

On Tuesday, the health department pointed to an increase in new cases from 8,593 cases in the preceding seven days (26th April – 2nd May) to 12,531 cases in the last seven days (3rd – 9th May) constituting a 46% increase.

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

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

The new Covid-19 related deaths increased by 18.22% in the last seven days (3 -9 May) to 318 from 269 in the preceding 7 days (26th April – 2nd 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.

The cumulative case fatality ratio is 3.43% (54,735/1,596,595), it said, with the Eastern Cape (21%), Gauteng (20%), KwaZulu-Natal (19%) and Western Cape (21%) accounting for 81% of all reported deaths.

The department said that as much as these figures are of concern, “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…reached a resurgence threshold.”

However, some districts in the country are fast approaching the threshold, it said.

The National Department of Health said it is working with provinces to update their resurgence plans to ensure that these are activated, and these plans mainly focus on the following:

  • Case management;
  • Contact tracing;
  • Oxygen availability;
  • Bed capacity (general beds and intensive care beds);
  • Respiratory support equipment;
  • Human resources.

Read: 3 scenarios for South Africa’s third Covid-19 wave

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