Lock yourself up in your home and try to do all your shopping online. This is advice from Discovery Health CEO Dr Ryan Noach for people in Gauteng.
Noach said deadly infections in Gauteng are 30% higher than where they were in the prior peak. “We haven’t seen the likes of these infection numbers in Gauteng before,” he said.
The reason for the devastating third wave in the province is because Gauteng was one of the least affected provinces in the previous wave.
“We estimate that about 45% of Gauteng had been previously infected with Covid-19. In the Eastern Cape, for example, we estimate that over 90% had a previous Covid-19 infection,” said Noach.
“That means that underlying immunity in Gauteng is absent. There are no antibodies through previously infected people.”
The low immunity rate predisposes Gauteng to a severe third wave, which is now happening.
Hospitals are already full, there is a shortage of oxygen, and there are not enough medical staff to attend to patients.
Noach predicts it will get worse. “The scary part is that hospitals are quite full already, and the hospital admissions tend to follow about two weeks after the infections,” he said.
“With the infection numbers we’ve seen the last few days, we’re very worried about what happens in the hospitals over the next two weeks.”
He advised people to avoid travel of any kind, especially interprovincial travel, which can further spread the disease.
Instead, people should pretend they are in level 5 lockdown and stay at home.
“Try and do all your shopping online and confine yourself to your home until the third wave settles – for at least a couple of weeks,” said Noach.
Noach’s advice echoes feedback from Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland, who has called for a Stage 5 hard lockdown in Gauteng to contain the spread of the virus.
Friedland said the latest Covid-19 case numbers in Gauteng are far worse than what experts predicted.
“These numbers demonstrate absent level 5 lockdown in Gauteng, we will not see the end of this surge for some time to come,” said Friedland.
He said if the government is unwilling to impose a hard lockdown, people must self-regulate by following level 5 rules.