The country’s laboratories say an increasing number of South Africans, including young people, are going out to test for coronavirus as new cases escalate. More than 14 000 cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
The National Health Laboratory Services says it still has capacity. Private laboratories, like Lancet, say the number of people coming into their facilities to test has doubled.
South Africa is currently in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic, which is being compounded by the new coronavirus variant.
Scientists and health experts say more young people are getting seriously ill or dying, even though they have no comorbidities.
SABC News spoke to one young man, who acknowledges that many others are not taking heed of the warnings.
“As much as the protocols have been put in place but especially us young people we don’t follow the rules, we don’t obey them. It is sad because we carry it and we take it to our elderly parents who are the most vulnerable because they are at higher risk. Remember our parents right now are sick, they have high blood, they are on chronic medication. If we come and carry it, it is scary,” he says.
South Africa currently has a cumulative total of 954 258 COVID-19 cases. The government says that this indicates that the virus continues to spread exponentially and that the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Health said the country will surpass the peak of the first wave in the coming days.
“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread.”
A cumulative total of 6 269 776 tests have been conducted in SA.
Below are the latest number of cases: