A year of Covid-19 in SA: Zikalala remains 'cautiously optimistic' over decline in new infections in KZN
DURBAN - KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Sihle Zikalala said he was cautiously optimistic about the recent reduction in Covid cases in the province, however, he was well aware of the looming threat of a third wave, which experts have predicted to hit SA between June and July, in line with the country’s colder months.
Zikalala was speaking during a ceremony at the Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg earlier today, marking the first anniversary of the country's first confirmed Covid-19 case.
The country has seen a substantial decline in the number of daily infections, which many believe is due to the SA having seen the end of a deadly second wave, which claimed more lives that the first wave. The second wave also saw the rise of a new variant, dubbed 501Y.V2.
“We have reason to feel somewhat relieved by these recent statistics, because they indicate a significant decline from our peak in late December and around the beginning of the year. This is a period when red flags were flashing all over, as we registered up to 6900 new cases per day.
“Although our response to Covid-19 might not always have been 100% perfect, it was not hopeless either – especially when considering that this is a virus that had never been seen before, and little was known about it. The effectiveness of our government response is testified by the high recovery rate, which I’ve alluded to,” he said.
He added that as the country takes stock of the impact of the detection of Covid-19 in South Africa, communities must be mindful of the looming threat of a third wave, which might be harsher than the second and first waves, due to the possible mutation of the virus.
"Government will continue doing all in its power to fast-track the arrival of more doses of the vaccine, so that the public can take advantage thereof.
It is up to the rest of us to play our part by following the precautions at all times, as we await to be vaccinated, and to ensure that that we seize the opportunity of being protected against the vaccine when it becomes available to the public," he said.