Scientists ‘cautiously optimistic’ about country’s Covid outlook

Scientists ‘cautiously optimistic’ about country’s Covid outlook

Senior Researcher at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Ridhwaan Suliman says the country’s Covid-19 outlook has improved in the recent weeks. 

COVID ice cream

The country’s daily cases currently average above 900. 

This is a drop of at least 9% compared to previous weeks.  

Suliman says this is a pleasing trend. 

“At the moment we’re currently in a good space. The number of confirmed cases nationally has decreased slightly for the last two weeks.  

“The current 7-day average is also below 1000, that’s the lowest it’s been since May 2020, so the trend is looking good. Of course, we want that to continue, it would be great to see that continue.”


But Suliman says he’s cautiously optimistic.  

“The concern and also what we’re watching closely for is to see if the current or recent easing of restrictions as well as the current holiday period will have any effect on the infection rate, we do have to wait for 10 to 14 days to see any effect on the numbers.  

“It seems a few indications of large gatherings, possibly people not adhering to non-pharmaceutical interventions and I guess the concern is the gatherings, articulately indoor gatherings where ventilation may not be good. 

“It only takes a few outbreaks in these gatherings for things to start increasing again,” he warns.  

Suliman adds it’s too soon to tell what impact the Easter weekend will have on the cases.  

“We just have to wait and see if any of the increased gatherings, increased numbers within the gatherings will have any influence.” 

He also believes there’s still a lot of groundwork to cover to meet the vaccine timelines. 

“We can’t rely in vaccinations as a means to overcome a third wave, we certainly haven’t inoculated significant proportion of the population for it to have any effect on the transmission rates, as well as hospitalisations and death,” Suliman says. 

“We do need to look at other tools available at our disposal to combat the pandemic, particularly over the winter period.” 

The country has more than 1.5 million cumulative cases and over 52 000 Covid-19 related fatalities. 

Listen to Dr Ridhwaan Suliman below:

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