The reported surge in COVID-19 cases in South Africa over the past two weeks, has many ministers and civilians alike, concerned about the emergence of a second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. With countries like Italy announcing new restrictions as they undergo a second wave Coronavirus spread, it looks like South Africa may go the same route.  

According to South Africa reported 1 622 new cases on Sunday the 25th of October. The new cases bring the total to 715 868 reported Coronavirus cases. Mortalities are at 18 960 (a daily increase of 16), recoveries have climbed to 646 170, leaving the country with a balance of 50 738 active cases. President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation sometime this week, regarding the COVID-19 spike.

Kwazulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala stated in a media briefing held on Sunday the 26th of October:  

“Looking at the statistics, we can now safely say that we are going back into a hard lockdown if there is no urgent and drastic change in behaviour,”

A separate article on speaks about a phenomenon termed ‘Pandemic Fatigue’. Research conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) shows greater complacency in South Africans as it relates to the pandemic and following the health guidelines. The findings showed that:

  • Four in ten adults believe the threat of the Coronavirus is exaggerated;
  • One in three adults do not always wear a mask when leaving home;
  • Fear of Covid-19 is declining;
  • Trust in the President is declining.

South Africans need to remember that the pandemic is not over. The relaxed lockdown guidelines do not mean we are in the clear, as Italy and other European countries have demonstrated, the second round of stringent lockdown regulations is a huge possibility.

Here’s what you can do to play your part in trying to decrease COVID-19 numbers:

  • Keep your distance: follow prescribed social distancing guidelines.
  • Wash your hands: Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is still crucial.
  • Wear a mask: don’t leave the house without wearing a mask.
  • Try and avoid crowds: limit the number of people you come in contact with.
  • Do your laundry regularly: there is emerging evidence that the virus stays on fabric for a few days.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms: if you present with any COVID-19 symptoms, then stay home.

Symptoms include: 

Most common symptoms:

  • Fever;
  • Dry cough; and
  • Tiredness.

Less common symptoms:

  • Aches and pains;
  • Sore throat;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Headache;
  • Loss of taste or smell; and
  • A rash on the skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;
  • Chest pain or pressure; and
  • Loss of speech or movement.

If we each do our part and maintain lockdown guidelines, we can avoid a second wave. But with the rising number of Coronavirus cases, it’s not looking good.