- The current trend of the vaccination rollout in SA has experts believing the country will experience a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic during the Local Government Elections in October
- Experts believe 80 per cent of high-risk individuals and those with co-morbidities need to be vaccinated against the virus if the current trend is to change
- The experts from Wits University and the SA National Aids Council were sharing their observations at the Moseneke inquiry
Medical experts are warning of a possible fourth wave of Covid-19 infections in the country by the time the October elections roll around.
South Africa's Local Government Elections are scheduled for 27 October this year. Health experts have warned that the elections should only go ahead if 80 per cent of high-risk [60 and above] individuals are vaccinated against the virus.
People with underlying medical conditions or co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity are also at a high risk of infection. There are additional calls for a large majority of such people to also be vaccinated in earnest if a consistent decline in the mortality rate is to be recorded or observed.
According to TimesLive, the leading experts have formed the opinion that this might be a stretch too far given the current slow rate of South Africa's vaccination rollout.
Professor Shabir Madhi, who is a renowned vaccinologist at Wits University, and the head of the SA National Aids Council, Dr Fareed Abdullah, shared these views at the Moseneke inquiry, whose purpose is to conduct public hearings into whether the upcoming elections will be free and fair under the current lockdown regulations.
More robust vaccine programme the best working solution
"We need to see something substantial, on a scale we have never seen before with vaccine rollout if we want to talk about elections in the near future — and even under those circumstances, I don't think October is anywhere a possibility," expressed Abdullah.
Madhi said the country would need to get ahead of the game in some considerable fashion before deciding on whether the elections should go ahead. The Wits professor was responding on the possibility of reaching herd immunity
"The safest time to have the election is when at least 80 per cent of people who are at high risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms are vaccinated.
Based on what we are now seeing with the rollout, it is unlikely that this is going to be achieved by September because you want the 80 per cent target to be achieved at least six weeks before the elections," pronounced Madhi.
The Moseneke inquiry continues.
Push for postponement of by-elections at Electoral Court, IEC announces
Briefly News reported that this follows the implementation of alert level 4 of the national lockdown restrictions across South Africa. In a statement on Monday, the IEC said it took the decision to seek the court’s approval to postpone the by-elections at an emergency meeting.
The meeting was convened after the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of additional measures to help curb the alarming infection rate being observed amid the country's third wave of the pandemic.
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Source: Briefly News