Third wave coming? COVID cases ‘surge’ in THREE provinces after Easter

It’s taken a while to show, but it seems there has been a ‘COVID-19 resurgence’ in three SA provinces this month – following the Easter break. Although a majority of regions came through the long weekend without any trouble, it’s believed that ‘cluster outbreaks’ are to blame for these localised spikes – and fears of a third wave are mounting.

What provinces are seeing COVID-19 cases rise?

The graph, shared by the CSIR’s Dr. Ridhwaan Suliman, shows that the Northern Cape is currently creating the biggest cause for concern. A sharp uptick has seen new cases in the province reach a three-month high – shooting up almost immediately after the Easter break had finished. Free State has followed an almost identical trajectory, too.

North West, although not in the same alert bracket as the other two aforementioned regions, is still giving us some red flags – and the rise in cases registered here has ‘failed to fall’ since the middle of the month.

COVID-19 data third wave three provinces
Photo: Ridhwaan Suliman

‘Localised signs’ of a third wave loading

Northern Cape

  • – Cases here are now doubling ‘every ten days’
  • – Test positivity rates are rising to about 15%
  • – With 3 314 active cases, the most sparsely-populated province has the second-highest numbers in SA, just behind KZN

Free State

  • – The rate of new cases has increased 23% over the past week.
  • – Test positivity rates have crept up here, reaching 10%
  • – COVID-19 hospitalisations in Free State, meanwhile, have jumped by 30% in recent days.

North West

  • – Test positivity rates are back up to the concerning figure of ‘1 in 10’.
  • – Hospitalisations are up 10% in the past seven days here.
  • – Alongside the Northern Cape and Free State, North West is the only other province feeling the knock-on effects of an Easter surge.

Mkhize worried about a third wave ‘coming earlier than billed’

Zweli Mkhize told EWN earlier on Tuesday that the possibility of an ‘earlier surge’ – which would then usher in a third wave of COVID-19 – somewhat increases with these numbers. The Health Minister suggests complacency has crept in again, and he’s calling on South Africans to make a drastic change in their collective mindset – before it’s too late:

“These increases show that we’re still at risk and, therefore, we must keep using masks, social distancing more now than ever. The sense of complacency of people feeling that we’re fine and were without problems. We must remove that thinking because it is going to cause us an earlier surge, which we could’ve actually delayed.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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