Three is Gauteng’s unlucky number as Covid-19 reproduction rate rockets
Every person infected with Covid-19 in Gauteng is passing the virus to more than three other people.
This emerged from the latest report on the reproduction rate, which reached 3.06 in SA’s most populous province at the end of November.
The national “R rate” — the number of people one infected person will pass a virus to — reached 2.55, which the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the SA Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis said was comparable to the highest rates recorded at the peaks of the first three waves of Covid-19 infections.
The R rates based on hospital admissions are much lower — 1.87 in Gauteng and 1.1 nationally.
SA’s fourth wave of Covid-19 continues to outpace earlier waves but deaths and hospital admissions have not yet followed suit, and the R rate according to admissions is just above 1 on average.
The scientists who produce the weekly R rate analysis said their work was complicated by the continual shifts in the landscape, “likely driven in part by changes in the criteria for testing and hospital admission, by shifting care-seeking behaviour during the epidemic, and by increasing vaccination coverage”, they said.
The exponential increase in Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant means the number of confirmed active infections has doubled in five days and stood at 96,572 by close of business on Tuesday.
At the peak of the third wave on July 10, there were 211,052 active cases countrywide.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.