Public Health Medicine Specialist in the Western Cape Health Department Professor Mary-Anne Davies says there has been no difference in the risk of death in COVID-19 patients in public healthcare facilities in the province during the first and second wave of the pandemic.
She was part of a virtual panel discussion on the new 501Y.V2 variant in South Africa on Monday.
Davies and other scientists agree that the risk of death increases when hospitals are placed under increased pressure.
In both waves, 70-80% of people admitted had comorbidities and nearly 90% of those deceased had comorbidities. We’ve also seen no difference in the age pattern of admitted and deceased patients. There is no difference in the risk of death in the upsurge of wave one and the upsurge of wave two. Both in wave one and two, when our hospitals were under severe admission pressure, the risk of death does increase,” says Davies.
South Africa’s second wave of infections is being fueled by a new variant.
Chairperson of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says there is evidence that the new variant of the coronavirus in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2, is 50% more infectious as it binds more readily to human cells.
However, there is no evidence that it causes a more severe COVID-19 infection.
In the video below, scientists unpack the country’s new variant:
SA COVID-19 stats
A total of 9 010 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the total number of infections to 1 346 936.
The graph below provides a complete view of the country’s COVID-19 statistsics: