Delta Covid-19 variant wreaks havoc through South Africa

The rippling effects of the third wave could put harsher lockdown restrictions back on the table for SA.

The third wave of Covid-19 is on course to exceed the peak of the second wave after the appearance of a new variant of the infection, known as the Delta variant. This highly transmittable variant caused infections to rip through India and has since been widely detected in tests conducted in SA. Health expert, professor Tulio de Oliviera said that not only is the Delta variant spreading rapidly in the country, it is also becoming the dominant variant in the country. The variant is said to be about 30-60% more transmissible than other variants due to several mutations in the virus. It has reached approximately 85 countries globally and is already spreading swiftly through Africa.

As of 26 June, 17, 958 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the country, the bulk of which were reported in Gauteng, the epicentre of the wave. The number of daily infections continue to rise and soon the other provinces are going to follow suit and exhibit a similar trend to Gauteng- thus harsher lockdown restrictions seem inevitable. The variant spreads easily through interaction hence social gatherings have to be restricted. President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the country on Sunday 27 Jun 2021 at 8pm following recommendations from the ministerial advisory committee on how the country should respond to the Delta variant, and how to keep the vaccination rollout unfolding amid tighter restrictions.