Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has told parliament that government is concerned about a third wave of COVID-19, while the country scrambles to roll out a nationwide vaccination programme.
He has called on people to continue wearing masks, sanitising and social distancing.
Briefing parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health, Mkhize said the single-dose Johnson & Johnson jab would improve the chances of success, with the initial rollout of the programme and a fresh appeal to adhere to health protocols to mitigate the impact of a third wave.
Democratic Alliance’s Lindy Wilson points to the Minister that the country is now sitting in a crisis.
“We are now sitting in a crisis point Minister. We are going into a third wave. I don’t think anybody doubts that and we need to know, I’m talking about the bridging stock that you’ve asked for. When exactly and how much exactly and how many people we are going to be able to save with this.”
Department of Health Vaccination Plan briefing
Health Minister Mkhize mentions that there is nothing to suggest that they can stop a third wave.
“We have nothing to suggest that we can stop a third wave and we are concerned that it might actually be one of the challenges we’ll have to face going forward. So all we’re trying to do as much as possible to reduce the risk of our people getting infected with the third wave. In the meantime we want to accelerate the vaccination so that, hoping that our people will be very strict on the issues of use of masks, distancing, hand washing, sanitising, so that it delays the next wave from engulfing us.”
Health Department plans to commence its COVID-19 inoculation plan next week