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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Gauteng Covid-19 surge spread to rest of SA ‘inevitable’, says minister

Acting Health Minister Kubayi-Ngubane expresses concern about the third wave surge in the province.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane shared a grim message on Friday morning while updating the nation about the country’s vaccination rollout and the third Covid-19 wave in Gauteng. 

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She addressed the importance of moving ahead with the vaccine rollout, especially in light of the third wave wreaking havoc on Gauteng.

Kubayi-Ngubane said South Africa was facing a “grave situation” and urged citizens to adhere to preventative measures and assist the elderly to register for vaccines.

SA vaccine update

Kubayi-Ngubane said the task team will be looking at the effect of the third wave on all provinces and will determine which measures and interventions are needed at both the government and provincial level.

She urged citizens to wear masks “all the time, and wear it correctly”.

Despite the bleak situation in Gauteng, the minister was encouraged by the national rollout campaign surpassing the 2.5 million mark for vaccines administered on Thursday.

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“We have vaccinated more than 2.5 million people. The education sector has managed to vaccinate 50,000 plus people per day,” the minister said.

Kubayi-Ngubane is still worried about the 60+ age group and said the low registration figures were a combination of vaccine hesitancy, difficulty in registering online and senior citizens’ struggle to visit vaccination sites. 

Covid-19 surge in Gauteng

Kubayi-Ngubane said the wave of Covid-19 infections is “largely driven by the surge in Gauteng”.

“It is inevitable the wave in Gauteng will spread to the rest of the country,” she said.

As of Thursday, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 1,877,143 with 16,078 new cases identified.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 third wave: Worst case scenario has hit Gauteng

Gauteng accounts for the majority of new cases (9,521, or 59% of the daily total). Kubayi-Ngubane says as per the seven-day moving graph, Gauteng has now surpassed the first two waves.

She expressed concern at the surge in Gauteng. It is likely to spill over to other provinces, she said, and urged other provinces to “avoid a sense of complacency”.

Resilience during a 15-month long war

On Thursday, Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni monitored compliance at three taxi ranks in Pretoria.

Kubayi-Ngubane urged commuters to comply with Covid-19 protocols. Later in Marabastad the acting minister spoke to residents about the importance of wearing a mask.

She also expressed her appreciation for frontline workers, saying she recognises the “profound depths of their strength and resilience, [they are] drained by a 15-month long war”.

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