Health experts have advised that South Africa should introduce stricter lockdown regulations to avoid the impact of new Covid-19 variants and a severe third wave.
Dr Asmal Dasoo, convenor of the Progressive Health Forum, told News24 that the country should move to a higher lockdown level to further limit gatherings to around 10 people.
Alex van den Heever, chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, reiterated the same:
“All we have to do now is block all gatherings of more than ten people. Once you have more than ten people, the spread becomes more exponential.”
Additionally he said that a travel ban on the UK and India was unlikely to make much of a difference, as Covid-19 variants from these two countries have likely been circulating in South Africa for much longer than official data suggests.
Professor Adrian Puren of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) told the eNCA that non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing of masks as well as social-distancing would be key to addressing the third wave.
On Sunday the Department of Health confirmed that variants of the Covid-19 virus first identified in the UK and India had been detected in South Africa.
The department indicated that there were 4 cases of the B.1.617.2 (first detected in India)and 11 cases of the B.1.1.7 (first detected in the UK).