File picture: Wilfredo Lee/AP
File picture: Wilfredo Lee/AP

Omicron: Provinces are ready for Christmas increase in Covid-19 infections, says deputy minister

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Nov 30, 2021

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Cape Town – Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says there are plans to deal with the possible increase in Covid-19 cases during the festive break due to Omicron.

He said provinces have already sent out their plans of how to manage the increase in infections.

He said scientists had warned that there would be a fourth wave, as they warned ahead of previous waves in the past.

The hospitals should be able to cope with the numbers.

The provinces had not dismantled the infrastructure when the numbers dropped a few months ago, as they were aware there could be a fourth wave and possibly another wave after that.

“With the end of the third wave nothing was dismantled in terms of readiness, the human resource plan and the equipment. We did not dismantle the infrastructure. We have kept the experience that has been there because we were very much aware through the Ministerial Advisory Committee, through the Minister they kept on updating us there will be a third wave, there will be a fourth wave and possibly another wave. Therefore don’t dismantle whatever you have put in place,” said Dhlomo.

He said they wanted to get many more people vaccinated in order to avoid a surge in infections.

Dhlomo said it was their intention that they push the number of vaccinations.

The plan for provinces to keep the infrastructure would ensure they deal with any rise in infections.

They wanted more than 70% of the adult population to get the jab.

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Political Bureau

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