Poor adherence to interventions in SA spreading COVID-19: medical expert

Vaccinologist, Professor Shabir Madhi gives his perspective on whether South Africans are complying with safety regulations. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is over 100,000 with deaths numbering almost 2,300.

Over 6,500 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours.

The rapid increase of confirmed infections begs the question of whether South Africans are adhering to safety regulations, and if we are prepared for the consequences.

READ: Gauteng sees surge in active COVID-19 cases

Vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi said the Western Cape is nearing a peak.

"We are not too sure when they're going to peak. I'm not convinced it will be a week, it might be longer and the bigger issue then is how does the peak last."

Professor Madhi said we had to look at Spain, where the peak of the virus lasted for three weeks.

READ: Western Cape gears up for COVID-19 peak

"In terms of Gauteng, we're seeing a rapid escalation in terms of the numbers of individuals who are being hospitalised, which indirectly indicates there are huge amounts of community transmission that's taking place right now.

"That's really unfortunate because this is something that certainly was under our control, both in Gauteng as well as the Western Cape and the rest of the country.

"Irrespective of what level of lockdown, what is really fueling this sort of rapid transmission of the virus and consequently bringing our healthcare systems very much to the point of almost collapsing right now is the behaviour of South Africans.

"The poor adherence when it comes to the non-pharmaceutical interventions, independent of whether someone is at risk of developing severe COVID or not -- we need to understand that even if people are not at risk for developing severe disease because they're otherwise healthy; they are very responsible for the spread this virus," he said.

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