South Africans need to play their part to stave off COVID-19 third wave - NICD

Experts said that four provinces - the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Gauteng - had already entered the third wave.

FILE: A Doctors Without Border (MSF) nurse (C) performs a COVID-19 coronavirus test during a Ministry of Health screening and testing drive in the Wolhuter men's hostel in Jeppestown district of Johannesburg, on 14 May 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that South Africa could still delay the third wave of the pandemic as it moved through the county.

Experts said that four provinces - the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Gauteng - had already entered the third wave.

According to the national Health Department, 3,614 new COVID-19 cases had been recorded over the past 24-hour period.

Provincial health officials said that at the start of the week, Gauteng has recorded nearly 15,400 active COVID-19 cases.

Just over 8,260 were recorded in the Northern Cape and more than 5,600 in North West.

NICD acting director, Professor Adrian Puren: "There has been an increase in hospital admissions, ICU utilisations as well as deaths."

Puren said that with the public's help, the rate at which infection numbers increased could be slowed down.

"We do not want to overwhelm our hospitals, we do not want to have fragile healthcare systems overwhelmed. I think we all need to play our role in terms of trying to stave off the third wave as best as possible."

South Africa's sluggish commercial COVID-19 vaccine rollout has received harsh criticism from the public, who felt that it simply wasn't taking place at a fast enough pace and large scale.

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