Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned that South Africa and the continent could face a possible third wave of Covid-19.
Addressing a dialogue on the impact of the pandemic in Africa on Thursday evening, the minister said the third wave could be more devastating than the first and second waves.
“It is also likely that we might face the third wave and therefore there is no way of being able to prevent it, and its impact will even probably be more devastating,” Mkhize said.
South Africa has been the worst affected country on the continent when it comes to Covid-19 infections. And on Monday, the first shipment of one million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India arrived in the country.
South Africa recorded 3,751 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the cumulative number of detected cases to 1,466,767. The total number of deaths stood at 45,605, while 1,327,186 people had recovered from the virus.
#COVID19 Statistics in SA as at 04 February .
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— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) February 4, 2021
Mkhize said on the African continent less than 10 countries were able to self-finance the procurement of vaccines, with most needing the assistance of the WHO-led Covax Facility.
“It is clear that countries with better resources have a better chance of being able to respond, than most of us who are in the continent who have got relatively fewer resources to respond,” Mkhize said.
“Every country has to contribute equitably in the finding of the solutions and the provision of resources, even to assist those countries that have got less of such resources,” he added.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe