SA records 122 more COVID-19 deaths as scientists worry about Delta variant

The Ministerial Advisory Committee co-chair Professor Koleka Mlisana warned at the week that the rapid rise in infection in Gauteng is likely to be just the start.

FILE: Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - According to the latest data from the Department of Health, 122 more people have passed away in this country after contracting the virus. These fatalities - recorded over the past 24 hours - take the national death toll to 59,900.

More than 15,000 infections were also confirmed over that same timeframe. Scientists believe the Delta variant is driving the third wave. They're warning it’s between 30% and 60% more transmissible than any of its predecessors. That means it moves fast and easily and now health authorities need to act swiftly to outpace it.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee co-chair Professor Koleka Mlisana warned over the weekend that the rapid rise in infection in Gauteng is likely to be just the start.

“Probably for the other provinces as well, we're just talking a matter of days. And so whatever is applicable to Gauteng today, we'll be seeing the same happening across the provinces," she said.

Mbilisana said several parallel processes that kicked in now include ensuring hospitals were prepared for the worst.

But even as new lockdown measures seek to stop people from moving, SAHPRA’s Professor Helen Rees said it would be vital if we sped up the vaccine rollouts.

“The longer we have large numbers of people who are not immunised, the more likely we're going to see the emergence of new variants,” Reese said.

At the same time, scientists and politicians are begging South Africans to do the basics. Avoid gatherings and keep wearing those masks.

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