Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has made a sobering announcement on Wednesday evening, confirming that South Africa is officially in the grip of a second wave of COVID-19 infections. This after over 6,000 cases were reported in a 24-hour period.
Increases in provinces such as the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, and Gauteng have been a growing cause for concern in recent weeks. But with the infection rates in KZN also accelerating – due partly to a mass gathering at a “Rage” matric party – South Africa has been pushed into second wave territory.
For the past four months, COVID-19 cases seemed relatively under control. Level 1 of lockdown initially caused very few issues, as the numbers stabilized. November has however tipped the balance of play in a very worrying direction, and Minister Mkhize has made it clear just how grave the situation is right now:
“We are now in a second wave. Four provinces are the key drivers of this new wave. They are Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KZN, and Gauteng. Up to the last week, the increase was mainly in the Eastern and Western Capes – in specific districts. But now we have numbers that indicate we are in a second wave.”
“Today we have breached the 6 000 mark in new cases. The age distribution has also shown a different pattern from the norm. The age group 15-19 years showed the highest number of cases over the past two days.”