Third wave is likely to be less severe, says Gauteng command council
The Gauteng command council says the third wave of Covid-19 infections is likely to be less severe than previous waves, provided there are no significant virus mutations and super-spreader events are avoided.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said though the province won the battle of the second wave, the third wave would only be conquered if fatigue does not set it and if non-pharmaceutical interventions are followed.
The province has recorded an alarming rate of infections over the past few days.
“Our response to Covid-19 is not only to deal with the current pandemic. Our interventions will last for the next 20 years or more. We have put in place permanent structures.
“When Covid-19 first hit, the province had 1,193 beds. We now have 4,564 available beds. With regards to human resources, we are better prepared than we were in May 2020. The availability of oxygen is also a key priority,” said Makhura.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng as of May 5 was 425,692, with 411,415 recoveries and 10,711 deaths. It was reported that 1,369 people are currently hospitalised in public and private facilities.
Makhura said past infection does not necessarily protect against mild Covid-19.
“Past infection likely confers high protection against severe Covid-19. The focus is on high-risk groups for Covid-19 vaccination as a matter of urgency.”
As of May 6, Gauteng had vaccinated 90,346 health-care workers under the Sisonke Protocol.
“About 61,600 vaccine doses have been allocated for phase 1b in Gauteng to complete the vaccination of healthcare workers. Phase 1b of the vaccination programme will begin on May 17 with the Pfizer vaccine. So far 235,202 people registered out of a total of 626,248 nationally,” said the command council.
In responding to the projected Covid-19 infection peak hospitalisation requirements, it was predicted the province would require 2,400 critical care beds and 7,500 general beds.