Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
11 Nov 2021
3:47 pm

Covid-19 fourth wave likely to peak lower than previous waves

Citizen Reporter

Covid-19 case may start rising towards the end of December, says public health specialist.

Commuters are pictured at Bree Taxi rank in Johannesburg on 29 June 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

Some people have questioned whether South Africa’s healthcare system will cope if a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections hits the country.

Fourth wave

Post-election and festive season

Fourth wave fears have been ignited following the conclusion the 2021 local government elections, given the number of people allowed to gather under adjusted level 1 lockdown.

Now with the country’s festive season approaching, social gatherings – including events – during this time may be potential super spreaders as up to 2,000 people are permitted at outdoor venues and 750 for indoor gatherings.

While healthcare professionals are exhausted and many suffer from post-traumatic stress as a result of the deadly pandemic, a public health specialist has suggested that the Covid-19 fourth wave is likely to peak lower than the previous.

This is due to vaccination, according to John Myers, who is an emeritus professor in public health medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

ALSO READ: Health department foresees no further Covid restrictions during festive season

“I think it’s going to be smaller than our third wave simply because we have accumulated quite a lot of natural immunity from people who were infected [with Covid] and survived. Now we also have quite a substantial amount of vaccine induced immunity,” he told CapeTalk.

Myers also said Covid-19 cases may start rising towards the end of December.

“If you look at it so far, there’s been a remarkable regularity in the waves, roughly every six months or so, we go from peak to peak or from trough to trough.

“I think towards the end of December, we’re going to see the start of a rise in cases and we will hit the peak some time in late January, or between early, mid-February. That’s my sense of it,” he said.

The professor further said that it is unlikely, at this stage, that there will a new variant driving the fourth wave.

“We could still be upwards of 50,000 deaths from Covid-19,” Myers added.

Covid-19 in SA

As of 10 November, the total number of detected Covid-19 cases currently stands at 2,924,622, with 305 new cases identified over the last 24-hour period.

This increase represents a 0.9% positivity rate. 

An additional 48 Covid-related deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 89,435.

More than 23 million vaccines have been administered in the country as government aims to vaccinate 70% of the country’s population by the end of the year.

Government is also set to roll out another vaccination drive themed Vooma Vaccination Weekend to encourage citizens to get their vaccinations against Covid-19 from 12 to 14 November.