Why Gauteng could be hit the hardest by the third wave
The NICD's latest Covid-19 modelling report indicates that Gauteng will be the worst affected province when the third wave hits, in the worst-case scenario.
Epidemiologist Professor Alex Welte says Gauteng is more vulnerable than other provinces due to a number of potential factors.
Welte explains that Gauteng is at a higher risk due to the sheer size of its population and the age structure in the province.
He says the province is also more susceptible due to a higher level of pre-existing health conditions which is associated with an increased risk of severe Covid-19.
Welte adds that waning immunity levels will also play a role.
He advises that the model projections are not set in stone and will be highly influenced by population behaviour and whether or not people adherence to Covid-19 restrictions.
Overall, the professor says seasonal factors, such as colder weather over the winter months, could also increase transmission due to increased contact indoors and decreased ventilation.
Gauteng has a working-age population... which does a lot of social mixing that will be particularly vulnerable to transmission.Prof Alex Welte, Epidemiologist and Research Professor - SACEMA at Stellenbosch University
According to the numbers available, it also has a larger number than the average of people with risk factors for severe Covid-19. It all adds up.Prof Alex Welte, Epidemiologist and Research Professor - SACEMA at Stellenbosch University
Our fate is ultimately in our hands... There's a lot of dependency on what exactly happens... Do people adhere to mask-wearing, do people insist on having parties.... winter is not the best time to on the brink of another wave.Prof Alex Welte, Epidemiologist and Research Professor - SACEMA at Stellenbosch University
There's a range of projections that depends quite critically on how strongly and effectively non-pharmaceutical interventions [ e.g. mask-wearing, sanitising, social distancing] are applied.Prof Alex Welte, Epidemiologist and Research Professor - SACEMA at Stellenbosch University
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