Spike in Covid-19 infections may be ‘first signs’ of fourth wave in Gauteng: Prof Bruce Mellado

25 November 2021 - 11:00
The first signs of a possible Covid-19 fourth wave have been spotted in Gauteng. Stock photo.
The first signs of a possible Covid-19 fourth wave have been spotted in Gauteng. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/perig76

The first signs of what could possibly be a Covid-19 fourth wave have been spotted in Gauteng.

This is according to Prof Bruce Mellado, a member of the province’s Covid-19 advisory committee.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM this week, Mellado said the province was preparing models for a potential fourth wave after the rapid increase in cases.

Of the 1,275 new Covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, at least 80% of them are from Gauteng.

“It is evident that the likelihood of these numbers being a reflection of a fourth wave coming is high. I don’t want to say there is no fourth wave. To the contrary, this may be the first signs of a fourth wave,” said Mellado.

He said the committee was analysing the data for more clarity.

“We are abstaining from declaring the fourth wave because we are still collecting a lot of information and data that is critical to analysing where we really are as a province. Once we have conclusive evidence that these stats are the signs of a fourth wave, we will certainly announce that,” he said.

Mellado also told 702 the province had reported a 300% rise in cases over the last week, which is much higher than expected.

He said models for a potential fourth wave were being prepared to help prepare medical professionals and the government, and inform policy decisionmakers, such as hospital CEOs, over the festive period.

“We really need to get now, based on the data which is the most accurate we can use, where we are going to be in a few weeks. Those numbers are going to be absolutely critical for policymakers on the ground to make preparations,” he said.

Last week, SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) chairperson Prof Helen Rees  said the most concerning issue was not knowing whether the country will get a new variant once it enters the fourth wave.

She said if there is no new variant, the fourth wave, hopefully, will not be as big and deadly as the third wave.

“One of the things that is going to push the variant is having large numbers of infection and this is one of the main reasons we want people to be vaccinated,” she said.


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