The country will not be in a better place 14 days from now, Wits University vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi has warned.
On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would be on adjusted alert level 4 for 14 days, from Monday. Ramaphosa said the restrictions would be reviewed after 14 days.
Madhi expects that the president will extend the restrictions beyond two weeks.
He said the restrictions had come too late and would have a nominal effect.
“It is the provinces that are in the earlier stages of the resurgence that will probably benefit more from these restrictions,” he said.
“We are going to have a tsunami of Covid-19 cases as well as people dying in our hospitals in the next two weeks. Fourteen days from now, we are probably going to have the president extend it for another 14 days because the country is not going to be in much of a better space in 14 days from now.”
Madhi said hospitalisations across the country would probably increase during that time. Covid-19 hospitalisation and deaths usually lagged by two weeks compared to what was happening with infections in the community.
In the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 15 036 new cases, pushing the overall number of infections in the country to 1 928 897.
The Health Department said the country had 158 998 active cases.
South Africa also recorded 122 new deaths in the same 24-hour cycle, bringing the national death toll close to the 60 000 mark, at 59 900.
The recovery rate is 88.7%, which translates to more than 1 709 999 people.