COVID-19: No major spike expected under Level 2, says Karim

Sally Burdett speaks to the head of the ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim. Courtesy #DStv403


JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is doing well when it comes to curbing the spread of COVID-19 and is expecting no major spikes in infection under Level 2.

So says the chairperson of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

However, he says South Africa needs to get to less than a thousand cases per day before it can claim victory against the virus.

READ: 149 new COVID-19 deaths takes toll to 13,308

"When we look at the overall trend, we can see quite clearly that the downward trend is in all provinces and is pretty consistent," Karim said.

"We'd like to see us get to a point where we are below a thousand cases per day.

"We're still at the high end... but that downward trend -- if it holds -- will enable us to get to the kind of level we need to get to."

READ: Karim: SA's COVID-19 infection rate on a steady downward trend

The Health Department reported on Wednesday that 149 more people have succumbed to the virus.

The number of infections has increased by more than 1,500.

Karim said he was initially concerned that the country might see an upturn.

READ: COVID-19: Rise in cases expected in 10 days - Karim​​​​​​​

"Right now I'm not yet saying that we're in the clear because we need to have about ten days after we have eased our restrictions.

"When we look at the data in the next few days, we'll get a sense of whether the easing of the restrictions have lead to an uptick in the number of cases. 

"We have to just ensure that we don't give the virus a chance to break out again and spread widely under the current situation," Karim said.

READ: NICD says difficult to predict second COVID-19 wave​​​​​​​

Karim has advised parents to keep putting masks on their children.

He says South Africa is still seeking further information on WHO research which states children under five years old don't require masks.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.

Sally Burdett speaks to the head of the ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim. Courtesy #DStv403


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