While Covid cases across countries decline, South Africa is still reeling a third wave of Covid-19 pandemic-that is more severe than the first and second wave. The country will thus remain at adjusted level 4 of lockdown for another 14 days, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation.
In his address late Sunday night, Ramaphosa said the highly infectious Delta variant was the cause behind the third wave. As things stand now, infections remain extremely high," he said.
"For the last two weeks, the country has consistently recorded an average of nearly 20,000 daily new cases. At present, the country has over 200,000 active Covid-19 cases." In the last two weeks, over 4,200 people succumbed to the virus.
The President said the public healthcare system was under pressure with the increasing cases and hospital admissions. "By next week, daily hospital admissions across the country are likely to reach the levels observed during the peak of the first two waves. Covid-19 related deaths in hospitals are also increasing, and have surpassed those observed at the peak of the first wave." He announced that the cabinet, after consultation with the provinces, has decided to maintain the country at adjusted lockdown level 4 for another 14 days.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on Sunday that in the past 24 hours, 16,302 new cases had been identified in South Africa, which brought the total number of confirmed cases to 2,195,599.