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SA passed its third wave peak, but impact of riots still to be felt – DOH

Acting health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: Department of Health

Acting health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: Department of Health

Published Jul 23, 2021


SOUTH Africa may have passed its third wave peak as the overall number of Covid-19 cases has declined in recent days, however, the Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned that the looting which took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng may lead to another surge.

In a media briefing on Friday, acting health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said that while she is encouraged by the declining positivity rate, the department remains concerned about the unrest and gathering during the civil unrest.

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“All indications lead to that we have passed the peak of the third wave, but the unrest in the provinces may lead to another surge in numbers so we will continue to watch the situation,” she said.

IMAGE: National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)

About 120 private pharmacies were destroyed during the unrest and around 47 500 vaccines were lost.

“There was a decrease in the number of vaccinations due to closure of sites. We can account that a large majority of public vaccine sites were not damaged and has actually enabled us to resume the vaccination roll-out in the provinces,” Kubayi said.

The vaccination roll-out is gathering pace, she said, and over 6 million South Africans have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“This is a big milestone for us, but we know that in terms of our population we are still very low,” said the acting health minister.

Chief executive at the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Prof Glenda Gray, said that the country has endured a devastating pandemic thus far with over 2.33 million cases recorded.

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“Fortunately it looks like we are starting to see a decline which has been marked and we hope that the decline will continue and we will be able to control the third surge caused by the Delta variant,” Gray said.

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