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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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SA government on alert for monkeypox, no cases detected yet

Published May 26, 2022


The South African government will remain on high alert despite there being no cases of monkeypox detected in the country so far.

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele said Cabinet was awaiting to receive counsel from the Department of Health following the outbreak of monkeypox in various parts of the world.

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The monkeypox outbreak was initially reported across Europe and has spread to Australia and the US. However, South Africa and its neighbours have been “on watch” as no official cases have been reported.

On Monday, South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed in a statement there were no cases, but added that milder cases of monkeypox might go undetected which represented a risk of person-to-person transmission.

Gungubele said that while there were no cases detected, the country was still battling the Covid-19 pandemic and urged all people in South Africa to take extra precautionary measures after latest statistics showed a marked increase in the rate of infections and illnesses associated with the winter season.

In a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Gungubele said Cabinet reminded everyone to continue safeguarding themselves and other people by washing or sanitising hands regularly, wearing a mask when indoors, maintaining a safe social distance, opening windows for ventilation, and getting vaccinated.

He said Cabinet maintained that vaccination remained the best defence against Covid-19 as it prevents severe illness, hospitalisation and even death.

“You do not need a home address to vaccinate. Any person, with or without an identity document, can get vaccinated for free at all public vaccination sites across the country,” he said.

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Political Bureau