South Africa has officially entered its third wave.
Yesterday, 9 149 new cases were reported, meaning our rolling seven-day average now sits at 5 959 cases, which is above the threshold set by our Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC).
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the seven-day moving average has now reached 30% of the peak incidence of the previous wave.
In addition, those 9 149 new cases showed a 15,7% test positivity rate, which is a major worry.
What a time for our Minister of Health to be on ‘special leave’ thanks to those dodgy Digital Vibes, with the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, now suddenly the acting Minister of Health.
Having spoken to two members of the MAC, News24 reports that an adjusted alert level 3 lockdown is back on the table:
“We just want some urgency now, with these 8 000 plus cases, we want to look at putting the country on adjusted Level 3, hopefully as soon as possible,” a senior insider told News24 on Thursday…
“It’s a balancing act because he [President Cyril Ramaphosa] has to make sure it doesn’t affect the economy. The vaccination rate is also very slow. We reached a million but by now we should have three million,” the senior insider said.
The sharp increase in confirmed cases also comes as a result of increased testing in the public sector, which sources say has been ramped up so that government can better understand the severity of the third wave.
What’s of the utmost importance is our current hospital capacity:
“The numbers are going up and we can see it in the beds. Gauteng is going to reach its maximum bed status in about two weeks’ time. Northern Cape is in problems, Western Cape is going up, Eastern Cape is going up.”
…The senior source said doctors on the ground were calling for an immediate ban on unnecessary travel between provinces.
“We are saying please shut down provinces, but keep economies opened. Bring the army out to help the police and ensure people are behaving and not marching on the streets with 200-odd people.”
SANDF forces have not covered themselves in glory during the COVID-19 pandemic, so rolling out the army would be a sign of the depth of the problem.
One source also said that restaurants are a worry. Many are accused of not adhering to the current adjusted alert level 2 protocols in place, as they struggle to stay afloat after a torrid 15 or so months.
There is also further worry around the upcoming school holidays and a surge in interprovincial travel.
Earlier this month, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) called for stricter measures to be put in place, adding that the return to alert level 2 was insufficient to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The countdown to our next ‘family meeting’ and being chastised like schoolchildren begins.
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