COVID 4th wave may hit Gauteng as early as Nov: provincial command council

The council, alongside Premier David Makhura, was conducting an oversight visit on Monday at the Itireleng Community Healthcare centre in Soweto.

A healthcare worker at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital prepares a COVID-19 vaccination on the first day of the vaccine rollout to frontline workers on 17 February 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng command council is warning that a fourth wave of the coronavirus may hit the province as soon as next month.

The council, alongside Premier David Makhura, was conducting an oversight visit on Monday at the Itireleng Community Healthcare Centre in Soweto.

Professor Bruce Mellado said Gauteng was out of the woods in terms of the third wave, with new cases and deaths steadily subsiding.

“At least 2,000 people are in hospital and these numbers are driven by people who have been hospitalised for a long time.”

But he said the festive season was a high-risk period: “The risk of the fourth wave is very high. We predict that the fourth wave is likely to happen sometime between November and January as we expect quite a number of super spreader events to follow in a row.”

Mellado said with the fourth wave fast approaching, it was critically important to increase the rate of vaccination.

At the same time, Makhura said the province's target to have 70% of province's population vaccinated by December would not be met.

Makhura said resistance to take the second jab was a challenge: “We are not changing the target because 70% is still the population immunity point of view and I wouldn’t want to change that target. But I can see that the rate at which we are vaccinating, that we are not going to reach that 70% by mid-December”

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