The national health department has assured South Africans that the country has not yet hit the third wave of COVID-19, despite an increase in infections.
“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,” Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.
This came after reports indicated this week that experts were calling for a stricter lockdown level, as the country faced a vicious COVID-19 third wave.
“In the absence of a mass vaccination rollout, experts have advised that tighter lockdown restrictions be implemented to avoid a vicious COVID-19 third wave propelled by new variants,” a News24 report said on Tuesday.
As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 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. pic.twitter.com/riDOYimUM0
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 12, 2021
The Free State health department announced last week that the province was officially in the third wave of COVID-19, according to The Citizen.
“We are now in the third wave of the outbreak and have today [Friday, May 7] seen a shocking rise of infections, to 427 new cases, with 60 yet to be allocated to appropriate districts,” spokesperson Mondli Mvambi was quoted as saying.
Mkhize said South Africa had recorded a 46% increase in cases in the last two weeks.
“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.
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%,” Mkhize said.