JOHANNESBURG (Associated Press) – The rise of the Corona virus in South Africa resulted in the country reaching more than 1 million confirmed cases on Sunday and President Cyril Ramaphosa called an emergency meeting of the National Coronavirus Steering Board.
According to experts, the new variant of the coronavirus in the country, 501.V2, is more contagious and quickly becomes dominant in many areas of re-emergence.
With South African hospitals reaching capacity and no sign of the new boom reaching its peak, Ramaphosa is expected to announce a return to restrictive measures designed to slow the spread of the disease.
“We are not helpless in the face of this alternative,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Richard Lessels told The Associated Press. “We can change our behavior to give the virus fewer opportunities to spread.” He said it was very important to avoid contact with others in closed and closed spaces.
South Africa announced, on Sunday evening, the total number of confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus, COVID-19, reached 1,004,431. This number includes 26,735 deaths in a country of 60 million people.
“A million cases are a dangerous milestone, but the true number of cases and deaths is almost certain to be much higher,” Lisels said.
“We have seen the new variant spread rapidly,” he said, noting that genomic sequencing shows that it is becoming dominant in the coastal provinces of the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It is not yet certain whether the alternative is prevalent in the inner province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and is the most populous province in the country.
“As people return from vacations in coastal areas, we can expect them to bring an alternative with them,” Lisels said. “We can also expect travelers to take the alternative with them across borders into other African countries.”
Experts say the mutation of the COVID-19 virus made it bind more efficiently to cells within our bodies.
Vaccinations have yet to reach South Africa, although Ramaphosa said he expects 10% of the country’s 60 million people to be vaccinated in the first months of 2021.
The average daily new cases in South Africa for nearly seven days in the past two weeks have doubled from 10.24 new cases per 100,000 people on December 12 to 19.86 new cases per 100,000 people on December 26. The number of deaths has nearly doubled, with the average daily death toll for seven days in South Africa over the past two weeks rising from 0.25 deaths per 100,000 people on December 12 to 0.48 deaths per 100,000 people on December 26.