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Johannesburg vulnerable due to low earlier virus infections

About two-thirds of daily infections are currently from Gauteng, which also includes the capital, Pretoria.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The severity of the third wave of coronavirus infections in Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa’s commercial hub of Gauteng may be due to a comparatively low rate of previous infections, according to a blood survey.

A study of samples collected from blood donations in South Africa’s nine provinces in January and May showed that Gauteng had the second lowest prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies, according to the South African National Blood Service.

The samples in Gauteng, collected in May, showed a prior infection rate of 35.1%, compared with 62.5% of those collected in the Eastern Cape province in January, the SANBS said in a statement. The lowest infection rate was in the sparsely populated Northern Cape at 31.8% and the national average was 42.8%.

“We saw comparatively very low antibody levels among donors who presented in Gauteng as compared to other provinces, especially when you consider population density,” Karin van den Berg, medical director of the SANBS, said in the statement. “This could indicate that Gauteng was more insulated from the initial waves of the virus and may in part explain the devastating spread of the virus through Gauteng.”

About two-thirds of daily infections are currently from Gauteng, which also includes the capital, Pretoria. One in four South Africans live in Gauteng and the province accounts for about a third of economic output.

Province Antibody rate Survey month
Eastern Cape 62.5% January
Northern Cape 31.8% January
Free State 45.5% January
KwaZulu Natal 52.1% January
Gauteng 35.1% May
Mpumalanga 38.1% May
Western Cape 37.6% May
North West 39.8% May
Limpopo 37.9% May
National Average 42.8%
© 2021 Bloomberg

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Seems fairly obvious. Now can someone please explain why a restaurant in PE can’t serve food and alcohol just because the hospital beds in Gauteng are full? I don’t see the causal link or even the correlation between the two.

Gauteng hospitals are busy but not yet full. The logical answer must be the inherent lack of logic, which is the thread of the blunder that runs through all of political history. It even runs through this feeble excuse for never ending stupidity.

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