The epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, warned about SA second wave of COVID-19 infections to be inevitable. He said unless behaviour is transitioned SA will face second wave.
With the scientific guidance followed by SA’s government has been largely shaped by Professor Karim’s input.
During an interview with SAfm about the chances of a second wave hitting Mzansi. Karim has raged against both an anecdotal decline in mask-wearing and several ‘super-spreader events’ that have been reported in the past week.
“I hope that we have all learned how to live with the virus. If we can keep the transmission at its current level – of between 1 000 to 2 000 cases a day, we can make COVID-19 ‘endemic’ in this country.
“However, we are seeing things like the Tin Roof outbreak, the Fort Hare party, and huge gatherings in the North West, these events make a second wave inevitable,” he said.
The Professor has identified few three key drivers for a second wave of COVID-19 in parts of other countries.
He believes that these factors are also present in South Africa and have the potential to spark another surge in infections.
Three factors include complacency, mass gathering and eased travel restrictions.
“People have become tired and complacent. At the shops yesterday, I saw perhaps a dozen people out of hundreds actually wearing masks. We’ve seen this in Europe and the US, as complacency levels rise, so do rates of COVID-19.”
“This has played a role in several countries. Things like religious gatherings and funerals present quite a high-risk, given that it takes just one person to be infected who can then pass it on to hundreds more.”
Eased travel restrictions.
“Countries like Spain are now struggling because they reopened their borders quickly. They’ve tried to capture the summer tourism boom, but instead, they’ve ended up with a second wave.