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Why Cape Town has 10% of Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases

20 May 2020

According to SA epidemiologists the high infection rate could be ascribed to the fact that Cape Town welcomed more tourists from hard-hit regions of the world than other spots in Africa. Secondly, major hot spots emerged in two supermarkets and a pharmaceutical factory that supercharged the virus’s spread.

Dr Salim Abdool Karim, an infectious disease expert and chair of the government’s coronavirus task force, said this is really about a small number of so-called superspreaderevents. He said too many people were going to the supermarkets, and they didn’t have the right procedures early enough.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said current projections show as many as 80 000 symptomatic infections in Western Cape by late July. A new concern is the growing backlog in testing in both government andprivate laboratories: Cape Town has a backlog of about 11 000 andJohannesburg has about 15 000 because suddenly the National Health LaboratoryService and the private sector are running at maximum.

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