South Africa now has the world’s 14th highest number of Covid-19 infections globally and officials are concerned that the virus’s “doubling rate” is currently higher than all countries with more cases than South Africa.
The doubling rate is the time taken for the total number of cases of an infectious disease to double.
South Africa is in the middle of winter when the spread of coronavirus is expected to increase drastically.
And it is beginning to happen – 192 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours – the highest so far.
More than 10,000 new infections were recorded over the same period.
The Western Cape has the most cases currently, with just over 72,000 infections.
But Guateng, the country’s economic hub, is set to become the new epicentre of the disease in the next few days.
Prof Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee, said the virus was spreading fastest in Gauteng for two reasons:
The province has the highest traffic of foreign and domestic employees, and Gauteng also has the highest population density.
Although the re-opening of more industries is deemed necessary to save the economy, the government has asked South Africans to continue taking precautions to help slow down the spread of the virus.
At least 3,470 people in South Africa have died from the disease.