The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa are starting to increase slightly as the country continues to operate under level one of the lockdown, says senior researcher at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Ridhwaan Suliman.
Suliman says this is due to the relaxed regulations under level one that have seen more people moving around across the country and gathering in larger crowds.
South Africa has recorded 1 541 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24-hour cycle and 82 deaths. Daily new cases were just below 1 200 on average a week ago.
Dr Suliman says this new trend needs to be attended to before it reaches crisis point.
“There’s certainly a change in the trajectory that we have seen over the previous eight weeks. It’s something that we do need to take note of. With increased mobility, mobility data confirming increased movement across provinces and out of residential areas as well as an increase in gatherings it would be naïve to ignore the fact that we possibly starting to see the effects of the change into the level one restrictions and we hope to try and nip this in the bud before it grows any further. Hopefully it’s just a slight hiccup or a slight speed bump as a start of a mountain ahead.”
Dr Suliman says there has been a slight increase in positive cases across some provinces in the country, especially in the Free State.
“The number of new cases in the Free State has increased by just over 30% compared to a week ago. We are starting to see a slight increase in Gauteng, 10% increase compared to a week ago, Mpumalanga showing a 14% increase week on week, while Northern Cape and North West are showing 12% and 8% increase respectively. Interestingly the 4 other provinces that being EC, KZN, WC and Limpopo those were the hardest hit during the second wave of the pandemic and those are still on slight decrease.”
Dr Suliman speaks to SABC News in the video below: