JSE-listed, diversified majority black-owned health group AfroCentric has revealed that its latest data confirms that South Africa is experiencing a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
AfroCentric confirmed a surge in Covid-19 admissions in the Northern Cape, the North West, the Free State and Gauteng.
Covid-19-positive hospital admissions have reached 68 814, an increase of 893 admissions between May 11 and 18 this year.
The data was compiled by AfroCentric Group’s Health Intelligence Unit, which updates its information weekly. The data is derived from Medscheme’s Hospital Benefit Management Programme, which captures detailed information related to hospital admissions for the medical schemes Medscheme manages.
AfroCentric subsidiary Medscheme clinical risk and advisory managing executive Dr Lungi Nyathi said so far, there is little evidence of a resurgence in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.
Nyathi says that while there is particular concern for the Northern Cape, North West, Free State and Gauteng, every province in the country seems to have at least one Covid-19 hotspot at present.
“Although some of these districts may have relatively low case incidences, the significant rise in percentage changes should be taken as a serious warning. Nationally, the latest surge in admissions is still low when compared to the massive spikes that the country saw around July and December of 2020 and January 2021, but we believe that it should not be taken any less seriously,” he warned.
With the start of South Africa’s third wave, Nyathi says it is vital that vaccinations are ramped up to ensure those most at risk are safe during the third wave.
AfroCentric has been vaccinating South Africans during Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout with 60% of vaccinations for those over the age of 60 and the rest for health care workers.
The group will be vaccinating in Roodepoort, Centurion, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban and expects to administer 7 000 vaccines a day.
“Our country has made significant sacrifices in our efforts to contain the virus, and we need to ensure that hasn’t been in vain. With reasonable precautions in place and the continued rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, I believe South Africa can continue to weather – and come through – this storm,” Nyathi said.