- South Africa's top scientist has warned that the Covid-19 virus could be around for the next year and a half
- Professor Shabir Madhi said South Africa is likely to experience two or three more waves of the pandemic
- The University of the Witswatersrand Professor said infections would depend on the behaviour of individuals
South Africa's top scientist, Professor Shabir Madhi, has argued that South Africa is only experiencing its first wave of the Covid-19 virus and we will probably experience two or three more waves of the pandemic.
South Africa currently has 106 108 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 2 102 total deaths. The country's cases are expected to peak between July and August.
Professor Madhi said the expected second and third waves will be experienced up until 2022. He said:
"We are not in a second spike, we are still pretty much sort-of in an upward trajectory of the first wave; we have not even peaked, not even the Western Cape has peaked yet in terms of this current outbreak."
Madhi is Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand and the director of the Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit.
Yesterday, Professor Madhi and his team, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Bill Gates Foundation, began trials for the Covid-19 vaccine.
2 000 patients aged between 18 and 65 will be enrolled for the trial, which is expected to run at multiple sites in South Africa.
Madhi echoed the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize that the peak of the infections would be dependent on the behaviour of South Africans.
"It is not dependent on any policy government comes up with, it is not dependent on whatever level of lockdown we are at, it is completely dependent on the behaviour of South Africans."
The Wits professor highlighted the dire situation in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, saying that lack of adherence would lead to the crippling of healthcare services, which has already began in these provinces, reported News24.
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