Picture: Bongani Mbatha- African News Agency

SA has begun to flatten the curve- Karim

CAPE TOWN- Professor Salim Abdool Karim said that South Africa has begun to flatten the curve and that the country has averted the exponential curve which had been anticipated.

Karim revealed his findings in an online briefing on Friday held by Health minister Zweli Mkhize, members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, and other Health Department officials.

The briefing outlined the Covid-19 health interventions as the country is set to move to lockdown level 3 on Monday.

Karim who chairs the Ministerial Advisory Group on Covid-19 outlined what the “coronavirus prevention toolbox” entails and if implemented correctly will assist to further flatten the curve.

The toolbox consists of recommended practices, which include physical distancing, frequent environmental cleaning, the wearing of cloth masks, and hand hygiene practices.

“However if we do not ensure that we continue using our prevention toolbox, the infection line could very easily rise and join the lines which are seen in the UK and the US,” he said.

Professor Karim argued against the use of human disinfectant tunnels. He said the spraying of people with chemicals could be dangerous because it could damage people’s eyes, cause skin rashes and affect breathing.

There are no discernible benefits of the tunnels because the virus cannot enter the body through intact skin. Karim said only hands should be sprayed with sanitiser.

The Western Cape accounts for around two-thirds of the country’s cases and currently has a doubling time of 9 days. While Gauteng has a doubling time of 24 days, KwaZulu-Natal is 26 days and the Eastern Cape has a doubling time of 12 days.

Mkhize said the Western Cape is currently the epicentre of the coronavirus in South Africa. The Cape accounts for 65% of cases and has conducted 23% of tests, which is less than Gauteng.

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