Not time yet to celebrate but we are making progress against Covid-19 scourge

16 August 2020 - 00:03 By Sunday Times Editorial

Every cloud has a silver lining, optimists say, but silver lining or not, a cloud remains a cloud. And the Covid-19 cloud hanging over SA and the rest of the world is a heavy one, and will remain until the search for the elusive vaccine produces results. Even New Zealand, which has set a global standard for fighting Covid-19, learnt this week of the risk of premature celebrations. After a full 102 days without a case of community transmission, 17 cases were reported in its largest city, Auckland, 13 of them linked to a single family. The upsurge raised the prospect of an extended lockdown in the city to rein in the virus.

The South African experience of Covid-19 has been rather different, with the country now firmly in the top five internationally, trailing only the US, Brazil, India and Russia. In the latest 24-hour period, SA reported 6,275 new cases and 286 deaths, which brought our national total of infections to 579,140. Silver lining? At least 461,000 people in SA have recovered from the virus, and our recovery rate at well over 70% suggests our health-care system is coping with the strain, but only just...

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