'I would not say COVID-19 is airborne at this stage, I would want more info'
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday that the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 238,339. There were 13,674 new infections.
There were 129 new coronavirus-related deaths: 37 from the Western Cape; 37 from Gauteng; 28 from the Eastern Cape; 26 from KwaZulu-Natal and 1 from the Northern Cape.
The total number of deaths is 3,720.
The United Nations recently held its first virtual AIDS conference during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference raised the alarm on the impact the pandemic in the treatment of HIV/Aids and reducing its deaths.
Bongani Bingwa chats to COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee head professor Salim Abdool Karim to shed light on the virtual conference and the country's response to the virus.
He says it is amazing how the virus information keeps changing.
If you were to ask me two weeks ago whether the virus causes diabetes, I would have asked you if you were crazy. In the last week we have had three separate articles published that show that this virus can indeed cause diabetes.Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Head - COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee
He says there is new information on the virus everyday.
The evidence that the virus is in little droplets, is something we have known for a long time. That is can be spread by aerosols we have known. What is an issue is whether these little droplets that float stay in the air for a long time? And do they actually cause infection? That is an unanswered question. We don't know whether there is enough virus in the air and whether it causes infection. That is why there is debate about it.Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Head - COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee
He says the country goes by the fact that the virus has been shown to be spread by aerosols and we eagerly await studies that say something different.
I would not say that this virus is airborn at this stage, I would want to see more information. It seems likely but there is a difference between likely and whether it is.Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Head - COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee
The professor says there is also evidence that many of the people that recover from the virus, have what is called long-term sequela.
In other words, they have some kind of residual illness. It takes long to recover, it takes weeks on end.Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Head - COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee
Listen below to the full conversation with the professor:
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