Concern at Covid-19 toll in three provinces
The Northern Cape, the Free State and North West have the highest rates of new Covid infections and deaths, professor Adrian Puren, acting executive director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said this week.
Overall SA’s transmission rate is low – five cases per 100,000 people a day — and new infections are relatively limited.
“Technically, the Northern Cape and Free State have not come out of their second wave,” said Puren. “The provinces are likely to focus on events that contribute to the increase in cases, such as identification of congregant events and superspreader events, and to increase testing and tracing.”
The high rate of deaths in those provinces was a concern, said professor Salim Abdool Karim, recently appointed to the World Health Organisation’s science council. But he said KwaZulu-Natal was “in a pretty good position”, with low deaths and hospital admissions.
Premier Sihle Zikalala has expressed concern about the King Cetshwayo, Harry Gwala and uThukela districts, all of which have had an increase in new cases.
KwaZulu-Natal has reported the second-highest number of cases (336,500) since the pandemic emerged in SA, after Gauteng at 423,000. The Western Cape ranks third at 286,500.
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