THE INITIAL AND DAILY COVID-19 EFFECTIVE REPRODUCTIVE NUMBER IN SOUTH AFRICA
This report summarises national laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, in South Africa. This report is based on data collected up to 29 May 2021 (week 21 of 2021).
- During the level 1 lockdown, between March and May 2021, estimates of R using three different data sources, daily numbers of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and hospital-based deaths had a similar trajectory, increasing throughout level 1 lockdown.
- Nationally, the average R gradually increased throughout level 1 lockdown, with a value above 1 at the end of the estimation period.
- Trends at the province level were generally similar to those at a national level, with R above 1 in all provinces at the end of the estimation period.
- R in the Northern Cape began to decrease in the middle of May, without a subsequent increase before the end of the estimation period.
- R is above 1 in all provinces indicating increasing transmission. It is essential that recommended measures to control the spread of COVID-19, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, good ventilation, adherence to venue capacity limits, and wearing of masks, are consistently implemented.