Cars queue at the launch of the drive-through component of the Athlone vaccine site of hope showcasing the accessibility aspect of the drive-through. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cars queue at the launch of the drive-through component of the Athlone vaccine site of hope showcasing the accessibility aspect of the drive-through. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Premier Winde fears people relaxing their vigilance before the fourth Covid-19 wave

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has spoken about his fear of people beginning to relax their vigilance against Covid-19 infection, now that the province has passed the peak of the third wave.

Speaking before the opening of the drive and cycle through section of the Athlone Stadium vaccination centre, Winde said: “I’m thinking about this fourth wave with trepidation.

“I really worry that as we come off this peak that people start to relax and they don’t social distance and don’t wear masks. I am also worried because suddenly when we see less people dying and in hospital, suddenly we’ll think: maybe we don’t need the vaccine.

“We have lost more than 18 300 of our family members and friends, let us not lose anymore. These vaccines will enable us to have a Christmas, New Year and celebrate each other’s achievements,” said Winde.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the site was a safe and convenient initiative. “It will guarantee that we vaccinate many people and assist in ensuring that we do not have a fatal fourth wave, should it come.

“I am convinced that this will also attract young people who do not want to be queuing in the chairs to use this facility for their vaccinations.”

Provincial health operations chief Dr Saadiq Kariem said: “Covid-19 has taught us many lessons and we have learnt from these lessons and improved our responses to the pandemic.

“This drive-through is one of these lessons, where we have listened to what our community wants and delivered a drive-through site.

“Our plea now is for all eligible adults who are not vaccinated yet, to take up this quick and easy service to get vaccinated and thus be protected against becoming very ill, needing to be hospitalised or even death,” said Karriem.

Merisca Davids gets her first jab. This is the first drive-through vaccine site in the province, supporting the walk-through component of the vaccine site. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Merisca Davids gets her first jab. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Mayor Dan Plato said the City was pleased to partner with the Province to provide the Athlone Stadium as a site for mass vaccinations.

“It is important to emphasise that when the majority of the public are vaccinated, we are likely to see a sustained relaxation in national lockdown regulations, allowing life and the economy to return to relative normality.”

Yesterday’s (Thursday’s) ceremony served as a test run for the facility which will officially be open to the public today.

The drive-through service is unique to the site as it is the only vaccination site in the province to offer such ease of access. It will offer five lanes to motorists.

Merisca Davids gets her first jab. Cars queue at the launch of the drive-through component of the Athlone vaccine site of hope showcasing the accessibility aspect of the drive-through. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Faried Shariff gets his second jab. Cars queue at the launch of the drive-through component of the Athlone vaccine site of hope showcasing the accessibility aspect of the drive-through. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

In two weeks since opening its doors on August 16, the site has already administered 9 722 vaccinations and with the drive and cycle through section, aims to be able to vaccinate 4 000 people per day.

To showcase the ease of access to the site, Winde cycled to the site from the Red Cross Hospital with a pack of 20 cyclists. On arrival, they were met by 11 motorists in vehicles also waiting to be vaccinated.

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Cape Argus

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