The MEC for Health in the Western Cape Nomafrench Mbombo Health MEC Mbombo has taken aim at people who spread fake news and disinformation on Covid-19. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The MEC for Health in the Western Cape Nomafrench Mbombo Health MEC Mbombo has taken aim at people who spread fake news and disinformation on Covid-19. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Health MEC Mbombo takes aim at spreaders of fake news, disinformation on Covid-19

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Aug 27, 2021

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Cape Town - As the Western Cape continues to battle the third wave of Covid-19 infections, its healthcare workers are also being forced to deal with a barrage of misinformation and fake news.

During the premier’s regular digicon, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said that never in her career as a health-care worker, including during the HIV/Aids crisis, had she come across a disease with as many self-appointed experts as Covid-19.

“I want to share the frustration with regards to how our health care workers ended up being the ones being affected by all the vaccine hesitancy that has been around, not only in the Western Cape but throughout.

“If you really don’t understand that Covid-19 exists, come to our hospitals where you will see that 3 400 plus of the people occupying our beds are sick with Covid-19.

“If you don’t understand that we have over 500 000 cumulative cases in the province, if you don’t understand we have had about 17 000 deaths in the province, come to our mass fatality centre in Tygerberg and see those 32 bodies that are there,” said Mbombo.,

Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre family physician Dr Roland Kroukamp who was the special guest at the digicon, spent some time debunking myths about the Covid-19 vaccines.

“It is important for people to know that vaccines do not give you Covid-19, the vaccines merely train the body and your system how to fight off the virus should you get infected.

“There are also myths regarding fertility. More and more evidence is emerging about the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy. Vaccines are safe in pregnancy and it is also safe to be vaccinated if you are breastfeeding.

“The vaccine does not contain a tracer, or a tracker or a microchip,” said Dr Kroukamp.

Speaking about the vaccine campaign, Premier Winde said since the first day of registration for the age category 18 years and older opened on August 20, this group has dominated uptake.

“The province recorded a record number of 53 290 vaccines administered on the first day alone. Let’s keep the momentum going.”

Head of Health Dr Cloete said that while the province was at the peak of the third wave with early signs of decline, there had been an uptick in excess deaths in the past week both across the Western Cape and the Metro.

Cloete said there had so far been 6 023 reported deaths in the current wave compared to 6 507 death in the whole of the second wave.

“In all likelihood, because we have a longer flatter wave, we will probably end up with more deaths in this wave than the second wave, although more spread out.

Dr Cloete said that across the province there were currently 42 780 active infectious cases, and warned that the risk of being in contact with an infected person at any gathering therefore remained high.

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Cape Argus

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