David Mabuza warns of fourth wave as Covid-19 new variant Omicron hits SA's shores
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Durban – Deputy President David Mabuza has warned against complacency in the fight against Covid-19, particularly in the face of a looming fourth wave following the discovery of the new variant B.1.1.529 that is now in the country.
Addressing the second day of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) extended outreach programme at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, Mabuza said that there was a threat of the fourth wave and new mutation of the coronavirus resulting from the recently discovered variant potentially looming large in the horizon.
With World Aids Day a few days away, Mabuza said that the SANAC outreach programme currently under way in Durban had been inspired by the call that “our bold and combined actions must count to end the HIV and TB as public health threats by the year 2030”.
"As we undertake our work as the South African National Aids Council, we will engage every sector of society to deepen partnerships so that we achieve maximum impact on the ground. At all times, we want our provincial meetings to be coupled with outreach programmes to communities and households,” Mabuza said.
The increasing numbers due to the new variant has seen the National Coronavirus Command Council meeting, which had initially been scheduled for Sunday, being brought forward to today as government clamours to curb the spread of the new variant.
"Already, our country is on a red alert list by some countries when it comes to international travel. We cannot afford to be complacent and drop our guard and reverse the gains we have achieved.
"Our Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to offer hope that with more people vaccinated, we will save more lives. Of course, we have to deal with the challenge of vaccination hesitancy from some quarters.
“It is now clear that Covid-19 will remain with us for a while, therefore it is critical to integrate our delivery systems and platforms in such a way that the fight against HIV and Aids continues to receive our attention within the broader context of our Covid-19 response,” Mabuza said.