Health experts warn SA of second wave of COVID-19 after lockdown

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Health experts have warned that South Africa will get a second wave of COVID-19 after the end of the current lockdown. South Africa is currently on a nationwide 21-day lockdown in an attempt to stop the number of new infections across the country.

Professor Helen Rees of the South African Health Products Authority says they are monitoring countries like China on the experiences they had with coronavirus. She has encouraged people to play their part to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing, ensuring good hgyiene and using protective gear like gloves and masks correctly.

“There will be people in the community that won’t have been exposed and we might get what is called a second wave because this virus will hide away. As you know, many people don’t have severe symptoms and that’s part of the problem. Majority of people won’t be very ill. The virus might hide away or as we’ve seen in China, it could get re-imported into the country, then we can get a second wave.”

The South African Health Products Authority have also warned that using protective gear like masks and gloves incorrectly defeats the purpose of preventing COVID-19 infection. It says constant washing of hands with soap remains the best in ensuring good hand hygiene.

This comes as thousands of people have resorted to wearing gloves in an effort to prevent getting the corona virus.

The Authority’s Professor Helen Reese says people who wear gloves tend to shy away from washing their hands.

“For the average person, one of the risks of gloves is that they might make you feel safe. So, when you feel safe, you’ve got your hands on things, then you will be touching all sorts of things. And when the gloves come off the question is would you wash your hands? What do you do with the gloves? How do you dispose off the gloves? So, you can get COVID-19 on the gloves and if you don’t dispose of it correctly and if you take the gloves of badly it can go into your hands and if you then, because you think you’ve been protected, don’t wash your hands, you know those could be the problems”

Meanwhile, Botswana has recorded its first three cases of the coronavirus. The country’s Health Minister Lemogang Kwape says the three people who tested positive for the virus are in quarantine and had recently travelled to Britain and Thailand.

Last week President Mokgweetsi Masisi warned citizens to prepare for a lockdown. Masisi is in 14-days of self-isolation after visiting Namibia last weekend, which has registered three cases of the coronavirus.