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Eastern Cape Covid-19 outbreaks may not develop into second wave if managed well – Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

South Africa’s second wave of Covid-19 cases could surpass the number of cases experienced at the country’s peak.

In a media briefing, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize compared countries currently expecting a second wave, such as Spain, France, the UK and the US – which have all shown a higher rate of infection during their second wave.

On home soil, Mkhize highlighted that cases were currently increasing in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape.

The total number of positive cases had increased to 751 024, of which 37 316 were active cases, after an increase of 1 842 cases.

The death toll currently stood at 20 241, an increase of 35 deaths.

However, Mkhize cautioned that the cluster outbreaks in the province did not necessarily equate to a second wave. He added that a resurgence was defined as a 20% increase in the average number of cases over a seven-day period.

“We can’t say if the second wage has arrived. We’re just seeing cluster activity. It depends on how we manage the situation in the Eastern Cape and other areas. If contained, the surge could peter out. If we don’t manage it properly, [the outbreak] might start spreading. The activity is still quiet in a number of areas,” he said.

Mkhize added that he would be visiting the Eastern Cape this week and was expected to announce further interventions once in the province.

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