Fourth wave still predicted for November: Minister

COVID-19 testing
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Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, says South Africa’s 4th wave of the coronavirus is still predicted to hit the country in November.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has recorded another 357 COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24-hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 80 826.

Over 12 700 new daily coronavirus cases were reported with South Africa having 169 000 known active cases.

“The third wave is dragging at a high level and in the absence of a new variant, what this means is that many of us are not observing the prescribed precautions. The risk of this is that by the time the 4th wave which is predicted to come somewhere around November, would be possibly driven by a new variant and it may find us still at the tail end of the third wave which would mean that the health facilities and workers would not have had much rest.”

Minister commends youth on vaccination drive

Phaahla, has commended the youth for their enthusiastic response to the country’s vaccination drive. Registrations for the 18 to 34 age group opened last week with more than 500 000 registering on the first day.  Phaahla said the youth vaccination figures remain over 80 000 per day.

“Exactly 7 days ago, we opened up registrations and vaccinations for everybody over the age of 18. The response of our young people has been overwhelming. For the 18-34s vaccinations, we reached 81 000 on Friday, 20th. On Monday, we reached 93 000 –  on the 24th, another 99 000 and 98 000 on the 25th. Yesterday, we were able to reach 89 000 and that is only for those in the category of 18-34.”

Health Ministry media briefing on efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic