FILE PHOTO (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

12 million South Africans are immune to Covid-19

People in high-density areas could have generated this immunity because of previous widespread exposure to common cold coronaviruses.

CAPE TOWN – About 12 million South Africans have developed antibodies against the Coronavirus.

As Covid-19 cases decrease, government has already embarked on a seroprevalence study aimed at providing a more accurate number of the national immunity.

According to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the initial seroprevalence studies had shown between 29 to 40 percent. However, revised models currently predict 12 million South Africans detected and undetected are probably infected with Covid-19.

“We have seen the surge receding and thus raises the question of the level of immunity that may already be existing in society. We are currently embarking on a seroprevalence study which should take us closer to the actual seroprevalence of Covid-19 antibodies in the country. Once the national study has been concluded we will communicate those results to the public,” said Mkhize.

Meanwhile, the country’s lead researcher on the Covid-19 vaccine trial, Professor Shabir Madhi, people in high-density areas could have generated this immunity because of previous widespread exposure to common cold coronaviruses.

“They have been exposed, they developed this key cell immunity which helps them to fight the severe effects of Covid-19 ,” he said.

Mary-Ann Davies, the director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research at the University of Cape Town said while it’s unlikely that there will be any “explosive outbreaks” in vulnerable communities in the near future, testing criteria should be revised to detect a second wave of infections. Proposals include the tracking of Covid-19 home deaths, pre-operation testing of asymptomatic patients and increased testing in prisons, schools and work places, she said.

Since the 22nd of August, the number of Covid-19 detected cases countrywide continue to decline.

The country’s recoveriers currently stands at 579 289 which translates to a recovery rate of 88,9 percent.

At the height of the epidemic during the month of July we would report anything between 10 000 and 15 000 cases were reported daily but now just under 3000 cases a reported.

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