Professor Karim calls on all provinces to prepare for rapid spread of Delta variant

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Renowned epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has called on all provinces to prepare their healthcare facilities for the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Health workers in Gauteng are already under heavy pressure as coronavirus patients fill available hospital beds.

Prof Karim says South Africa is yet to witness a rapid increase nationwide due to the transmissibility of the Delta variant.

“It’s been spreading in a way that is somewhat unusual compared to the past, in that now you get whole families infected. It’s not going to stay in Gauteng. By virtue of the Delta virus in the whole world, there is nothing to protect any of our other provinces. We are going to see the virus get to the other provinces. My big concern is that when it does, and when it really starts taking off, we will start seeing a very rapid increase in cases,” adds Karim.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim reacts to lockdown level 4:

On Monday, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) called on government to focus on assisting hospitals as healthcare facilities continue to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 patients.

Their call follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday night that the country will be operating under adjusted Alert Level 4 restrictions for 14 days.

SAMA’s Chairperson Angelique Coetzee says, “We don’t think the inter-provincial travel is going to be really enforced and it will be extremely difficult. We are happy that the schools are going to close. We still don’t think that 50 people per funeral are the right amount of people because we see it as a super spreading event.”