‘There are 40 to 70% more new COVID-19 infections than recent statistics show’

SABC News COVID 19 Africa R 2 - ‘There are 40 to 70% more new COVID-19 infections than recent statistics show’

The Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s unit for genome sequencing, Professor Tulio De Oliveira, believes there are 40 to 70% more new COVID-19 infections than recent statistics show.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said there have been 50 000 new cases over the past week as a new variation of the coronavirus is spreading through the population.

On Monday, President Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will, move from Level 1 back to an adjusted Level 3 of lockdown in intensified efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

De Oliveira, however, believes that the number of infections is a lot higher if you consider the fact that 30% of COVID tests are coming back positive.

“At the moment for example, in the UK and Switzerland the positivity is at 1 percent. What it means, why I keep on bringing in the statistics, it means the science of our epidemic is much bigger than the number we are looking at. And the World Health Organisation (WHO) raises the alarm when the positivity rate is at 5 percent, that is when we expect to have a disseminated epidemic through a country. And we are at 32 percent at the moment,” adds De Oliveira.

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