In preparation of a fourth wave of Covid-19 cases, South Africa’s Department of Health is racing against time to vaccinate as many citizens as possible.
The country's Covid-19 infection rate is slowly climbing, with Gauteng accounting for the majority of reported new infections. Of the 312 new infections reported on Monday, 239 were reported in Gauteng. Since Friday, 545 of the 687 reported cases in the country came from the province. This equates to almost 80% of the cases.
Professor Bruce Mellado, who serves on the advisory committee on Covid-19 in the province, says the situation is worrisome. He says 2 weeks ago, they expected new cases to arise after the November 1 Local Government Elections.
He said, “what happened essentially is that two weeks After The November first election we saw the first significant increase in the number of cases. Now at that time of course we needed to pay close attention to the numbers, we didn't want to jump the gun and raise the alarm right away but then the following week which is last week has indicated the numbers have continued to increase”.
Mellando says other factors also had to be taken into consideration before they could declare a fourth wave...These factors include mortality rate and hospitalizations in order to paint a holistic picture of the environment.
He does however add that the expectation is that the fourth wave will differ from the third wave. Mellando says regardless of the current situation, everyone should get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“It is certainly a big source of concern that we haven't reached the levels that would have been required for the fourth wave to be basically seriously minimised...it's true folks of 60 and above certainly have better coverage of the younger population but we really need everyone to have a much higher coverage in order to reduce the impact of a wave” concluded Mellando
The Department of Health has administered more than 24.7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines in the country. This means that 35% of adults are fully vaccinated while 41% of the adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.