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SA COVID-19 resurgence no surprise for Prof Mahdi, says citizens complacent

Scientists have noticed that complacency and super spreader events are some of the key drivers in the second wave gripping Europe, which is once again the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic and they're calling on South Africans to learn from Europe's mistakes.

FILE: Two men enjoy some beers at a streetside bar in the city centre in Cape Town, on 18 August 2020 after South Africa moved to level 2 of the coronvirus lockdown. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - While a second COVID-19 wave ravages Europe forcing many countries back into lockdown, scientists here on home soil have acknowledged the fatigue and complacency that has set in ahead of the festive season and are calling on South Africans to "hang in there".

Experts are closely monitoring the spike in infections in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, France and Spain.

Many are warning that it is likely to be a dark and grim December if the number of cases continue to rise exponentially throughout Europe.

Soon it will be a year since the coronavirus outbreak was acknowledged in Wuhan, China.

Scientists have spent 2020 pleading with people to steer clear of social gatherings, to work from home and to wear a mask when they do have to venture out.

It is the end of the year and many South Africans see it as a time to hold year-end functions and spend time with family.

But chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, said that now was not the time to forget that we were in the grip of a global pandemic.

"People are tired, they're frustrated, they're irritated and they just want it to end. We control our risks and we control our country's risk. If we are just a bit more careful... we just need to hang in there."

Wits vaccinology professor, Shabir Madhi, said that the country was already experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and he was not surprised.

"When you go around South Africa right now, people have become more complacent in terms of the use of the face maks, in terms of the physical distancing, in terms of avoiding overcrowded places. Complacency has crept in."

Scientists have noticed that complacency and super spreader events are some of the key drivers in the second wave gripping Europe, which is once again the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

They're calling on South Africans to learn from Europe's mistakes.

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