Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned provinces that the country is, in essence, in the third wave of COVID-19, reports News24, citing "government scientists who spoke on condition of anonymity".
News24 quotes Mkhize as saying: "Kindly note that the COVID-19 positive cases are rising rapidly. For all intents and purposes, we are in third-wave even if not fitting in technical definition. The numbers will no longer go down other than if we start intensive containment measures. We need to meet frequently to see how to support each other. Contact tracing and quarantine is the mainstay of our response. It is NOW and NOT LATER."
South Africa's second wave peaked in mid-January 2021, with a seven- day moving average of approximately 18,000 cases per day. For a new wave to be declared nationally, the seven-day moving average of new daily cases would have to rise above 5,500 cases.
According to reports by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the current daily average over the past seven days was approximately 1,600 cases per day. However, according to the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) Epidemic Explorer Dashboard almost every single one of the 52 health districts in the country have triggered "Response" alerts. This alert is triggered when a district shows a 20% or higher increase in new cases compared to the previous seven-day period.