Third wave dependent on our behaviour, says newly appointed MAC chairperson

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - As fears grow over an imminent coronavirus third wave, newly appointed chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) Professor Koleka Mlisana says the third wave will be largely dependent on people’s behaviour.

With Easter holidays approaching, health officials and experts have warned that the associated religious gatherings and Easter celebrations could precipitate a third wave.

Speaking on SAfm radio, Mlisana said: “Nobody can ever predict when the third wave will happen. Whether we get a third wave or we don’t, that will really be determined by our current behaviour. People are walking in public without their masks, as if we are not in the middle of a pandemic.”

“Right now we need to ensure that the non-pharmaceutical interventions are adhered to. We need to wear our masks at all times. It is important to maintain that, and we can then delay and even make sure we don’t get the third wave,” she said.

While data shows that there’s no way South Africa can avoid a third wave, Professor Marc Mendelson, head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital, says the public must avoid mass gatherings at all costs.

“Maintain social distancing, masking, hand hygiene and isolation if becoming symptomatic. Most important is to avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and even outdoor events where public health interventions to prevent Covid-19 are not being practiced, and any mass gathering,” he said.

The National Coronavirus Command Council is expected to meet on Sunday, followed by a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

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