Politics

Government remains on high alert amid increase in daily COVID-19 infections


Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, says while the country is still at great risk of COVID-19, government is observing the daily new infections and remains on high alert.

Phaahla said the next seven days until 6 May will give an indication as to whether the 5th wave of the pandemic has started.

Addressing a virtual media briefing on Friday, the Minister expressed concern at the daily new infections, which has been rising to up to 6 000 new cases a day.

“We need to remain on high alert. The rise in daily infections took a sharper uptick during the last week,” Phaahla said, adding that the trend needs to be observed.

He said government has noted the spike of cases in other parts of the world.

Nationally, there has been a 137% increase in new cases, compared to the seven days prior.

Gauteng, Western Cape and the Northern Cape are showing the highest new daily infections.

“COVID-19 remains a threat and it is not yet over… We cannot afford to drop our prevention measures. We urge those who have not vaccinated to come forward and take the jab.

“We are still under 50% of adults that have taken one dose of the vaccination. We need to get this to 60% of adults to protect us,” Phaahla said.

Phaahla urged young people who are between the ages of 18 – 35 to come forward in their numbers to protect themselves and the elderly people around them.

“Natural immunity wanes with time and cannot be boosted. It is only the vaccine immunity that can be boosted,” Phaahla said.

The Minister said as winter approaches, people will spend more time indoors, with a risk respiratory infections.

Meanwhile, South Africa recorded 4 146 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 780 444.

The increase represents a 18.3% positivity rate.

“There has been an increase of 64 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours,” the Department of Health said in a statement. – SAnews.gov.za



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