The National Department of Health says, while the increase in new COVID-19 infections is worrying, South Africa has not yet hit the third wave of infections.

On Wednesday, another  2 759 new cases were recorded – pushing the total number of recorded cases to 1 602 031 in South Africa.

Gauteng accounts for more than a quarter of all cases recorded so far. Another 72 people have died from COVID-19, taking the death toll to 54 968.

Gauteng ready to respond to looming COVID-19 third wave:

The Health Department says it is working with provinces to update their resurgence plans to ensure they are ready to deal with a possible influx of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health has assured South Africans that the country is not experiencing the third wave, however, the risk remains. In the last week, a 46 % increase in new infections was recorded.

All provinces have shown a positive percentage increase, in particular the Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape. The department says the country needs to be on heightened vigilance and is again urging strict adherence to safety protocols.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim says SA likely to experience the third wave of COVID-19 infections during winter:

Concern for rural communities

Last week, COSATU raised concerns over the impact of a potential third wave on rural communities.

COSATU Provincial Secretary Kopano Konopi said there is a need for government to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“We understand that there is a challenge from national government in terms of providing sufficient vaccine doses to the North West but we still believe that if the province can demand a higher portion, it can be delivered. There are many rural areas that are not going to get vaccines on time and if the third wave comes it will be devastating for the province.”

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