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By Editorial staff

Journalist


So much happened after first Covid case

We’ve been through many, many lockdowns, experienced several variants of Covid and the world as we know it has changed. We had to change.


Today, two years ago, it was confirmed that South Africa had its first Covid case – a 38-year-old male from KwaZulu-Natal, who travelled to Italy with his wife, had contracted the virus.

He was part of a group of 10 people who had arrived back in the country a few days earlier. So much has happened in two years. We’ve been through many, many lockdowns, experienced several variants of Covid and the world as we know it has changed. We had to change.

Those fortunate to keep their jobs worked at home, schooling was done on a rotational basis, our healthcare system and workers were tested to the fullest and we were told when and where we could go out into the “real world”.

Fast-forward two years and just where are we right now? We have had just under 3.7 million Covid cases. Just short of 100 000 people have lost their lives due to Covid, with a reported 3 554 282 people having recovered.

Even though we are currently experiencing a milder strain of Covid, there are still an estimated 25 758 active cases and we have not seen an expected decline in infections. We have administered more than 31 million doses, which represents just over 19 million adults.

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About 48% of the adult population has received at least one jab. If we haven’t had Covid, we certainly know of a family member or friend that has been infected.

Yet, there is still reluctance to get the jab. Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla yesterday rightfully expressed concern that the 70% goal for population immunity had still not been reached, and the 18 to 34 age group – at only a 34% vaccination rate – was still lagging far behind.

In short, we just aren’t getting vaccinated fast enough.

His words “we have a few months to claim our place among nations of the world. Beyond this year, without vaccination, it will be difficult to interact with the rest of the world”, should read as a warning.