- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has urged South Africans to follow Covid-19 safety protocols to delay a third wave of the virus
- He said that is was vital that as many healthcare workers were vaccinated as possible
- Experts expect a third wave to arrive in South Africa around Easter time as winter approaches
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has stressed that it is of the utmost importance to delay the third wave of Covid-19 in South Africa.
He said that if South Africans follow social distancing rules, this can be achieved. Delaying the third wave would allow South Africa to vaccinate as many as possible.
Professor Shabir Madhi, prof of vaccinology at Wits University, believes that coronavirus numbers will rise towards May, following Easter. Prof Madhi was speaking on Monday during a leadership dialogue hosted by Wits Business School.
He says that easing regulations before the Easter holiday season could result in the third wave arriving much sooner than expected. Prior predictions suggested the third wave would be arriving towards the winter months (June onwards).
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that a report by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) revealed that the 'actual' Covid-19 death toll could be as high as 128 000. The National Health Department reported an estimated 135 000 excess deaths.
As of early February, the department confirmed 46 473 Covid-19 related deaths. Reports say a lower estimate of around 114 000 deaths was also provided. This would put South Africa as one of the worst-hit countries in the world.
Excess deaths are described as being the difference between the number of deaths and the expected number of deaths within the same time period. This simply means that if there were 300 deaths expected and 400 recorded, there would be 100 excess deaths.
In other news, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) revealed on Wednesday that South African authorities seized hundreds of fake Covid-19 vaccines and made arrests. The international policing authority confirmed that an equivalent of 2 400 doses was found in Gauteng.
Authorities also found a number of fake 3M (a disposable respirator mask) masks. According to National Police Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, the government has adopted an integrated multi-disciplinary law enforcement approach since Covid-19 arrived in the country.
Police arrested one Zambian national and three Chinese nationals in connection with the fake Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
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