South Africa dropped to the number 10 place for global Covid-19 infections overnight as Brazil and Spain took 8th and 9th place. In spite of this seemingly good news, the NICD has warned that a second wave of infections is becoming more likely. This due to the relaxed state of lockdown and citizens become more and more complacent and careless with social distancing and personal hygiene directives.
Although the wearing of masks is now compulsory, many South Africans are only wearing them inside a store, and remove them immediately as soon as they leave the store. Security staff at malls and retail stores can only insist on masks being worn inside the buildings and residents nationwide have been taking advantage of this. A new word was even born to describe the relief of removing the mask once outside: ‘Airgasm’.
On top of this serious swift in attitude towards the threat of the virus, the rules and regulations with regards to social gatherings have relaxed. As a result public places are more crowded again which increases the risk of spreading the virus. Professor Adrian Puren says that the country is not out of danger yet, and is still experiencing nearly 2,000 daily infections. He emphasised the need for even more tests and screening to be conduced to get an accurate picture of where South Africa was standing with regards to the virus. “As we’ve gone through this risk-adjusted approach, more and more people are going to come into contact with each other with the greater movement and opening of our economy, schools, universities, workplaces, people being allowed in greater numbers in venues. I don’t think it will be a surprise in terms of an increase in spikes or clusters.”
From Thursday, the country will be opening it’s borders for international tourism which could result in another spike in infections. The NICD and WHO continues to urge all people of the globe to remain vigilant and do their utmost to stop the virus from spreading.