One health expert is urging people, who travelled during the Easter period, to pay attention to any flu-like symptoms they may experience over the next few days, which could signal a coronavirus infection.
Thousands of people have flocked back home after spending time at various holiday destinations over the weekend.
Epidemiologist, Dr Jo Barnes, says the extensive movement of people may have caused the further spread of COVID-19.
“Please be a responsible citizen and watch out for any symptoms. If you feel even slightly fluish, try and isolate yourself and have the least amount of contact with other people and have yourself tested. If you find that you are testing positive, please – particularly for those who went to the rural areas – where the health services may not be as good as towns and cities – please let the people know that you tested positive. That doesn’t only go for yourself, but for anybody who was in your party,” adds the Dr.
Barnes has also expressed concern over the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted, saying not enough is being done to detect the early stages of South Africa’s third wave of the coronavirus.
“I am just concerned that our stats are undercounting – we know that. I am just concerned that this undercount means that we would only become aware of the wave a little bit late in the process, that is why I am asking everybody to please be responsible and watch out and get yourself tested.”
Meanwhile, The Higher Education Department has expressed concern that students who have been exposed to the coronavirus could trigger a third wave of infections after the Easter holidays.
Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia from the Department’s wellness and development centre, Higher Health says, “So as much as efforts have been made, 3 000 people have been screened; student and staff have been tested. The challenge is we might have missed those who would have been in high-risk areas and contact and would have passed back into their families and communities while they carry this virus.”
On Monday night, Seven hundred and seventy-seven new coronavirus infections have been recorded in South Africa in the latest 24-hour cycle, putting the cumulative number of cases at 1 551 501. The Health Department also reported eight more COVID-19-related deaths, taking the total since the outbreak of the pandemic to 52 954. The total number of recoveries is 1 476 605.