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The Covid-19 outbreak in Gauteng is the epicentre of South Africa’s third wave as the increase in cases are set to surpass the province’s first and second wave peaks.
Senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Ridhwaan Suliman compared the waves in an overlaying graph and said the province reported its highest number of new cases in a day.
“Gauteng is currently the epicentre of South Africa’s third wave. Covid-19 numbers are about to exceed previous peaks. We’re entering uncharted territory. How high we go is still up to us and our collective behaviour,” said Suliman.
More than 7 800 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Gauteng on Wednesday, representing close to 60% of the cases recorded nationally.
South Africa recorded 13 246 new cases yesterday and the percent testing positive increased to 21.7%.
According to National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the “concerning” figures represent the highest number of daily cases and positivity rate recorded since January 2021.
The Western Cape recorded 1 402 new cases on Wednesday and North West 917.
Infectious diseases expert at Wits University Professor Francois Venter said it remained unclear why Gauteng’s uptick in Covid-19 cases was higher than other provinces.
“Politicians and some public health specialists keep going on about human behaviour. While human behaviour certainly explains why transmission occurs, it’s impossible to simply account for what we are seeing.”
“I suspect some biological force (maybe a viral mutation) or environmental issue (maybe climate) is intersecting,” he said.
Venter said the same interventions used from the first week of lockdown, including limiting indoor gatherings, wearing masks, and encouraging ventilation where there are crowds, was the best way to combat the outbreak in the country.