South Africa is in a third wave of the deadly coronavirus infections, says President Cyril Ramaphosa while addressing the nation on the developments in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his address dubbed as the ‘family meeting’, the President said: “a third wave of infections is upon us. We have to contain this new wave of infections.
“Since I last spoke to you just over two weeks ago, the average number of daily new infections has doubled. Then, we were recording around 3,700 daily infections.
“Over the last seven days, we have recorded an average of 7,500 daily infections. Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 over the last 14 days are 59% higher than the preceding 14 days.
“The average number of people who die from Covid-19 each day has increased by 48 per cent from 535 two weeks ago to 791 in the past seven days.”
Rising infections in provinces
According to President Ramaphosa, except the Northern Cape, all provinces are experiencing rising infections.
He said four provinces including Gauteng, Free State, North West and Northern Cape are officially in a third wave, while others are on the brink of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The President further said that the proportion of the so-called positivity rate is continuing to rise in Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
Of these, President Ramaphosa said Gauteng has been the worst hit.
He said the increase in infections in Gauteng is now faster and steeper than it was at the same time in previous waves.
“Within a matter of days, it is likely that the number of new cases in Gauteng will surpass the peak of the second wave. Private hospitals in the province have reported that they are near capacity. We have to act decisively and quickly to save lives,” he said.
How the virus is spread
The President also used the platform to remind the nation on how the virus is spread further urging them to behave in a way that reduces the chances of transmission.
“Our scientists inform us that it is through our behaviour that the virus is spread.
“We must remember that many people who are infected with Covid-19 do not show any symptoms. The person who may be sitting next to you in a taxi, who may be a co-worker, or a friend or even a family member at a social gathering may be infected.
“You could get infected as you are travelling in a taxi that does not have any windows open. You could catch the virus from your co-worker who does not wear their facemask in a way that covers their nose and mouth.
“Your friend or family member may not have washed or sanitised their hands before passing you a drink or a plate of food, and you could get infected.
“You may go to visit your elderly parents or grandparents, not knowing that you are infected and infect them. You could visit your relative who has diabetes, hypertension or another underlying condition and infect them, even though you feel healthy.
“You could go to church or the mosque, or you could go to a crowded restaurant or shopping centre and all the time be passing on the virus and putting the health and lives of others at risk. It is, unfortunately, as easy as that to spread the disease,” he said.