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Eased restrictions will see increase in Covid-19 cases — Prof Salim Abdool Karim

Prof Salim Abdool Karim says SA can expect to see an increase in Covid-19 infections around August 28.
Prof Salim Abdool Karim says SA can expect to see an increase in Covid-19 infections around August 28.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

SA will see a slight increase in Covid-19 infections in the next 10 days, according to the chair of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee, Prof Salim Abdool Karim.

During an interview with eNCA on Monday, he said the rise will come with the reopening of more economic sectors under level 2 lockdown.

According to Abdool Karim, the increase will start to show around August 28.

“We need to be aware the threat is ever-present. This virus is not going away. We need to ensure the number of infections continues to decline. We expect, because of the easing of restrictions, there may be a slight increase in cases,” he said.

“That may become evident in about 10 days, around August 28. We will watch very carefully what the numbers are doing. If we don’t see that increase, or if we see a small increase, we can be confident  the easing has not had a major impact.”

As of Monday, SA has recorded 589,886 Covid-19 cases,  11,982 deaths and 477,671 recoveries.

Last month, SowetanLIVE reported that Abdool Karim said SA will be over the worst by October and November.

He warned that South Africans should not let their guard down.

“We need to focus on ensuring we are not complacent and that we continue with the important measures we have become quite good at, mostly washing our hands, social distancing and wearing our masks”.

In his latest newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned South Africans not to be excited about level 2, saying the country was still at risk of seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, which would mean a hard lockdown might be reintroduced.

“It may be that we are now permitted to meet friends and family, to visit entertainment venues, to travel for leisure and to consume alcohol in restaurants, bars and taverns. But as the adage goes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” said Ramaphosa.

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