Experts say Gauteng has yet to see the worst, third wave peak a week out

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s economic hub of Gauteng, which includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, is expected to hit the peak of a third wave of Covid-19 infections in the first week of July, according to modelling prepared for the provincial government.

While an unexpected surge to a record 10,870 daily infections on Wednesday may portend a worse outcome, data to date show the province will likely have about 65 000 active cases from June 29 to July 9 before they begin to decline, a presentation by Bruce Mellado, a member of Premier David Makhura’s Advisory Committee, showed on Thursday.

“Overall data appears consistent with the central curve of the worst-case scenario, indicating the peak to arrive the first week of July,” Mellado said in the presentation. “However, large numbers yesterday are a serious source of concern.”

While the surge in infections in Gauteng is slowing, with a 44% increase last week compared with 74% two weeks earlier, the impact has led to calls for tighter curbs on movement and alcohol consumption even as some experts say the government has left it too late. The province is home to one in four South Africans and more than 60% of daily new infections nationally. Gauteng accounts for 40% of the South African economy.

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