South Africa breached the 6,000 daily COVID-19 cases mark on Wednesday as the government announced that the country has officially been hit by a second wave of the virus.Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told journalists on Wednesday night that South Africa recorded 6,709 COVID-19 cases during the previous last 24 hours.
“That’s why it is important for us to now recognise that it’s now the second wave,” Mkhize said.
He said the Western Cape province had the highest number of new infections, accounting for 30 percent of cases. It was followed by Eastern Cape province with 24 percent of the new cases, and KwaZulu-Natal (23 percent) and Gauteng (17 percent).
“Up to the last week, the increase was mainly in Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in specific districts. But now we have numbers that indicate we are in a second wave,” the minister said.
The spike in infections follows a decline in cases since September when the daily cases started dropping to below 1,000.
Mkhize said a worried statistic was that the latest figures show that the majority of the cases were in the 15-19 years age group.
He called on South Africans to avoid behaviour that would further fuel the rise in COVID-19 during the forthcoming festive season.
“We now need to understand we have a responsibility to enjoy the festive season with restraint,” he said.
South Africa now has a total number of 828,598 COVID-19 cases, the 18th highest in the world.