Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa has, according to its statistic models, entered a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Today the country has breached the 6,000 mark in terms of new cases. The total new cases identified is 6079
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Mkhize said four provinces are driving up positive COVID-19 cases.The majority of the new cases are from Western Cape, and that is 30% of positive cases today, followed by Eastern Cape (24%), KZN (23%) and Gauteng (17%).
“We are now entering a second wave. It is important for us to highlight that four provinces – Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – are the key drivers of this new wave,” he said.
There is also concern over matric year-end parties acting as COVID-19 super-spreader events. Mkhize said In the past few days, the age distribution has also shown a different pattern form the norm. The peak age is now 15 to 19 years of age.
Mkhize warn that If this trajectory continues, the healthcare systems will be overwhelmed. The provinces are now looking at how to contain these large gatherings and parties. The decision will be made by the NCCC.”
Mkhize said provincial leadership has been mobilised to deal with the surge.
“The key issues we have raised for the provinces include that they need to ensure that testing turnaround times are as quick as possible to facilitate patient flow, to assess the bed capacities, and attending to staff and equipment needs urgently. As we are moving around in various provinces, we are seeing the pressure has built up in a number of provinces,” he said.
“Yes, festive season is time for us to relax and enjoy with our families but we now need to understand that we have a responsibility to enjoy with various restraints. If our enjoyment is going to lead to more people getting sick, getting admitted and even some losing lives, it is not a responsible way of enjoying ourselves. We need to prepare for a festive season with a difference.”