The prevalence of antibodies was higher in more densely populated Cape Town Metro sub-districts such as Khayelitsha and Klipfontein which researchers say suggests a high proportion of people in poorer communities have been exposed to and infected with Covid-19

On Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that 1 913 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 685 155. In that same period, there were 145 Covid-19-related deaths in the country, taking the total toll to 17 248.

On Friday evening, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases released the weekly figures, which reflected that in the previous 24 hours 1 641 new cases were registered.

Wednesday’s numbers mean that nearly 2 000 people were confirmed to have come into contact with someone infected with Covid-19 in 24 hours.

This means that those people would have come into contact with and possibly infected others if they chose not to follow the prescribed social distancing guidelines and other regulations.

A second wave – if one comes – may not be as severe as the first, according to experts, but let that not be a licence for us to do as we wish. Let us continue to protect ourselves and those around us

And we are not even talking about those who do not know they are positive and could unknowingly infect others.

What this underscores is the need to maintain maximum vigilance, even as we seem to be defeating the pandemic.

We have seen how other countries prematurely declared victory over the pandemic and then found themselves backsliding as a second wave hit.

Others have adopted lax attitudes even before flattening the curve, only to be punished by the virus.

These countries found themselves forced to return to hard lockdowns.

In South Africa, we have witnessed people letting their guard down.

So let us be clear: the Covid-19 coronavirus is still very much with us. It is still infecting and killing people.

Hospitals may no longer be clogged with Covid-19 patients and the glut of funerals we witnessed in the winter months may be past us now, but death and illness still stalk us.

A second wave – if one comes – may not be as severe as the first, according to experts, but let that not be a licence for us to do as we wish.

Let us continue to protect ourselves and those around us.

this article was originally published at: https://www.news24.com/citypress/voices/editorial-the-virus-is-till-with-us-20201011