Mkhize sounds alarm on rising COVID cases, emergence of variants in SA

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, while tabling his department’s budget vote and policy statement, told parliamentarians that the country was facing a third wave.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has sounded the alarm about coronavirus variants first identified in the UK and India now being reported in South Africa.

He also told parliamentarians that the country was facing a third wave.

READ: SA has not yet entered third wave of COVID-19 infections - NICD

Mkhize made the comments while tabling his department’s budget vote and policy statement.

Besides speaking on matters related to his budget, Minister Mkhize also issued a warning about COVID-19 variants.

"Even though 95% of those infected have recovered, COVID-19 cases have started to rise significantly and we may find ourselves in a bad way. Of concern, is the emergence of the B.1.351 variant in our country and the importation of B.1.617.2 variant from India," Mkhize told MPs.

He also came under heavy criticism from opposition parties who had rejected his department’s budget.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Siviwe Gwarube said that healthcare workers were continuously being let down by government with regard to vaccinations.

"To make matters worse three days from now we are expecting to rollout phase two of the vaccination programme in the country. This is all while 700,000 healthcare workers are yet to receive their jabs," Gwarube said.

WATCH: Mkhize: COVID-19 positive cases increasing, SA may find itself in the third wave

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