The COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe, with some countries issuing second lockdowns following renewed infection surges. In South Africa, cases have surpassed the 750 000 mark but it seems the country is not experiencing a second wave just yet.
Speaking during a media briefing on the country’s response and readiness to a possible resurgence, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that it is too early to say for sure that the country is undergoing a second wave.
“There is an indication of numbers increasing in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. These areas are areas we are now watching as indicating increased activities,” he said. “We can’t yet say this is a new surge. We are observing these areas and it important for us to share with our fellow South Africans.”
According to Mkhize, a COVID-19 resurgence is defined as about 20% increase in the average incidence of COVID-19 cases using a seven-day moving average within a defined area. While there has been an increase in cluster activities, it does not necessitate a second wave based on the current data.
We cannot say we are experiencing a second wave. It now depends how we manage it. We can contain this by our behaviour, by practicing non- pharmaceutical interventions. #HealthMinistersBriefing #COVID19Update
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) November 15, 2020
Mkhize adds that South Africa was ranked in fifth place for the most COVID-19 infections at the height of the pandemic on July 30, but has since then been overtaken by other countries and now ranks in 15th place.
The country currently has 741 024 confirmed cases, of which 693 467 have recovered. Thus far, 20 241 people have died from COVID-19-related complications.
Gauteng leads the way with 30.8% of the confirmed cases, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 16.6%, the Western Cape in third with 16.2% and the Eastern Cape with 14.44% of the confirmed cases.
Picture: Twitter/Zweli Mkhize