The department of health couldn’t be any clearer than they have been. The next few months are crucial in the fight against Covid – and South Africa’s success rests in our hands.
Not only do we need to vaccinate to get closer to the 70% target for the adult population by the end of the year, we cannot be complacent. The economy cannot afford further lockdowns, with tourism receiving a shot in the arm with the United Kingdom removing SA from the red list this week, shortly after we moved down to lockdown adjusted level one.
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said: “We appeal to all compatriots to please not lower our guard because of the reduced level of restrictions. Let us always remember that, while the numbers are down, the virus is still in our midst.”
Superspreader events associated with the looming festive season is our biggest danger. Another Christmas in lockdown is something we don’t want to contemplate. But what is promising is that we have seen a 33% drop in Covid infections over the past seven days.
There’s also been a 19.3% decrease in hospitalisations and a 51% decrease in reported deaths over the same period, while vaccination rates have seen 70% of the more vulnerable groups – the 50 to 59 and over-60 age groups – getting the jab. We need to continue social distancing, wearing masks, getting vaccinated and sanitising.
The ball is in our court.