COVID-19: Free State officially in third wave, Gauteng to follow

The spokesperson of the Free State Department of Health, Mondli Mvambi, explained on Friday, 7 May 2021 that the province is officially in its third wave of COVID-19 infections.

This after COVID-19 infections in the province soared by 427 out of the national 2 150 new cases. Mvambi said “it’s getting worse and we have to ensure that we put all hands on deck.

“We need to communicate as if our lives are dependent on it. […] Our current ability to treat people may not last if unnecessarily stretched to the limit by the non-adherence to Covid-19 measures”.

COVID-19 third wave in South Africa

Free State first, Gauteng next

The Free State currently has the third-highest active cases (4 028), preceded only by Gauteng with 4 103 and KwaZulu Natal with 5 494 as of Thursday, 6 May 2021. With 3 558 cases, the Northern Cape isn’t far behind.

The Free State health department is now urging communities “to take care of themselves and adhere to all COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical measures because there is no cure and all its emerging mutating variants”.

“It is important that you should take personal responsibility to avoid getting infected and when infected seek medical help and appropriately isolate or quarantine as you may be advised by health practitioners”.

Districts flagged for a rise in infections

In addition, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the department “noticed a worrying trend of increasing” COVID-19 infections in a number of districts, including Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape and North West.

He added that these districts have been flagged by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) as “under observation” due to a 14% increase in infections.

“The significant rise in percentage changes should be taken as a serious warning”.

Third wave free state south africa
Image via Twitter/Dr Zweli Mkhize

‘No health system can withstand the COVID-19 pandemic’

Mvambi said it’s vital for communities to ensure everyone plays their part to prevent the health system “from getting overwhelmed if everyone is sick”.

This includes adhering to social distancing protocol and government regulations, as well as washing and sanitising regularly, and wearing masks when in the public or in the company of others.

“We can see that all over the world, there is no health system that is able to withstand the high numbers of demand for high flow oxygen, high care, and intensive care units”.

Global COVID-19 stats

At the time of publishing, the global caseload stood at 157 636 813 confirmed cases, with a death toll of 3 286 497, while recoveries are now at 135 112 056.

The United States is still the worst affected country in the world, with 33 418 826 confirmed cases, 594 911 deaths and 26 324 7578 recoveries, followed by India with 21 892 676 confirmed cases, 238 270 deaths and 17 930 960 recoveries.

South Africa is currently 20th on the list, with a caseload of 1 592 326, along with 54 687 deaths and 1 513 202 recoveries.

Now read: COVID-19 Third Wave: Here are 7 key facts you need to know

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Presh JM Reporter

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