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MAC scientists raise concerns over second wave of COVID-19 infections

The country has seen a significant decline in the number of daily new COVID-19 infections over the past few weeks, while worker unions are calling on more sectors of the economy to reopen to save jobs.

FILE: A professional healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) monitors a patient in a tent dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria on 10 July 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - With growing calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to further ease lockdown regulations to level two, the country's top scientists have expressed overwhelming concern over a possible second wave.

The country has seen a significant decline in the number of daily new COVID-19 infections over the past few weeks, while worker unions are calling on more sectors of the economy to reopen to save jobs.

"The work is not done yet," said Professor Glenda Gray.

Gray, like many other specialists, has raised the red flag about a possible second surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Gray said that for South Africa to contain the pandemic in the future and to prevent a second outbreak, she suggested that experts revisited the testing strategy.

"Back into community testing, tracking and tracing, hot spot evaluation, put out the fires."

The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, said that it had been proven by many countries where some had claimed victory over the virus only for it to return more vigorously.

"Singapore has had major outbreaks, Vietnam has a major outbreak at the moment and so too South Korea."

Both professors said that it would now largely depend on the behaviour of South Africans on whether the virus would return with a second wave of infections.

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