Teenagers account for most infections in SA's COVID-19 second wave - Mkhize

The country has officially entered the second wave of the virus with the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng being the key drivers of the virus.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addresses a media briefing on 13 July 2020. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - While teenagers have been flagged as the main age of current COVID-19 infections, South Africans are being asked to enjoy the festive season with restraint.

The country has officially entered the second wave of the virus with the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng being the key drivers of the virus.

READ MORE: South Africa experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 - Mkhize

South Africa recorded 6,079 new cases over a 24-hour period and that number is expected to rise exponentially in the near future.

Just this week, the popular Rage end of year parties attended by matrics were identified as super spreader events with all those who attended being urged to quarantine.

There's a prevalence of COVID-19 infections among young people between the ages of 15 and 19.

Minister Zweli Mkhize said this was because of their attendance at super spreader events.

“We’ve actually had a report that has come from KwaZulu-Natal last week, where you could see this pattern is much more widespread than we thought. This inevitably leads to super spreader activities all over the country as the age group is highly mobile and majority of the carriers are largely asymptomatic.”

WATCH: Mkhize: Expect faster rise in COVID-19 cases in second wave

He said the festive season could not be enjoyed as normal: “And these restraints are to ensure that it is not to enjoy your yourself in an irresponsible way to the detriment of other fellow South Africans.”

Mkhize said Cabinet will have to consider the recent developments before decisions on a possible harder lockdown are made.

The health ministry has called on all MECs to gear up as the second wave of COVID-19 hits the country.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa tightened restrictions in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro - those may be extended to the rest of the country soon.

If you had plans for these holidays, you may want to have another look at them.

Mkhize said the MECs had been told to prepare the provinces.

“The key issues that we have raised are that the provinces need to ensure that testing turnaround times are as quick as possible to facilitate patient flow, assess bed capacity including recalling field hospital beds, attend to staffing and equipment needs urgently and to tighten up monitoring and evaluation and reporting to national department.”

But are we in for a hard lockdown any time soon?

“Without being able to know what exactly the level of restrictions but I think it’s important for us to be able to say that there has to be some way of encouraging more responsible behaviour and how we protect South Africans.”

Mkhize said considering the rate that the numbers were increasing - it seemed this wave may be more sever compared to the first.

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