South Africa enters second wave of COVID-19, says health minister

SOUTH Africa has officially entered a second wave of the new coronavirus as the number of infections per day exceeds 6,000, the health minister said on Wednesday, raising concerns that restrictions to limit the spread could be tightened.

Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said in a televised address that infections stood at over 828,000 cases with deaths at more than 22,500, the most on the continent.

Daily cases peaked at around 15,000 in July.

“The increases are shown in about six of the provinces and that is why it is important for us to now recognise this is a second wave,” said Mkhize during a televised address.

South Africa is experiencing a resurgence of new cases in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. President Cyril Ramaphosa last week tightened rules in the Eastern Cape province, but stopped short of a wider crackdown.

Mkhize also expressed concern that in the last two days the age distribution of new cases has peaked in those who are between 15 to 19 year of age.

School students who attended a series of end-of-year parties were urged on Sunday to enter 10 days of quarantine after identifying four such parties as “super-spreader events”.  – Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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