South Africa: Covid-19 Second Wave Crashes Over Four Provinces

While prevention is the strongest weapon South Africans have, many seem reluctant to follow recommendations.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Ten days after South Africans got the December party started, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that a second wave of Covid-19 infections was sweeping the country with a worrying rate of infections among young people.

With more than 8,000 new cases confirmed on Thursday, outbreaks in four provinces are driving the current wave of coronavirus infections, with the majority of new cases from the Western Cape (30%), followed by the Eastern Cape (24%), KwaZulu-Natal (23%) and Gauteng (17%).

The National Department of Health (DOH) has set an incidence rate of five per 100,000 people as the measurement for a hotspot. All four provinces had exceeded this rate, Mkhize said. While his announcement was accompanied by strong words of caution, he did not specify further restrictions.

In the first week of December, Nelson Mandela Bay was declared as a coronavirus hotspot. This led to additional localised restrictions being set, including limiting social gatherings and religious services, stopping alcohol sales on Fridays and over weekends, banning the consumption of alcohol in public and setting an earlier…


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