Gauteng Premier David Makhura says there are growing concerns on the large number of gatherings, which could set the country back on its efforts to fight Covid-19.
On Monday, Makhura’s provincial Covid-19 command council briefed media on the vaccination drive, where he admitted to the media that the build-up to local government elections is proving to be a challenge.
Over the past weeks political leaders have been drawing large crowds, as competing parties take to the campaign trail prior to 1 November election polls but this could pose a challenge in the fight against COVID-19 as the fourth wave has already been predicted and people still hesitant to taking the vaccine.
“The fourth wave is something that we are still worried about. We have seen in different parts of the world where the vaccinations have been happening very well that when you have things like elections, when you have more opening, the possibility of more infections happening is very high but if we have more vaccinations we wouldn’t be as worried.” said Makhura
He added that the rate of vaccinations we have so far, is not even at 50% with regards to the single doses. Makhura lamented the slowing vaccination pace within the province.
Makhura said that Gauteng remains at 32% single doses, both Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer single doses and that they would be happier if it was at least at 60%, he further stated that we still have a long way to go.
“Election day is going to be possibly the most intense in terms of how many people are going to be coming out. From elections we know we’re going to be going into the festive season, more people are going to be travelling. We are not retreating on our target of 70% bur the idea that we will reach 70% by mid-December – this is becoming a target that is illusive.” He added
“At the rate we have been going in the last two weeks, the vaccination rate per day in Gauteng on average during the week we are just between 52 000 and 58 000,” he concluded. Experts believe the fourth wave is probably going to line in between November and January.