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FEARING COVID-19 THIRD WAVE, MAKHURA PLEADS FOR LIMITED EASTER GATHERINGS

A combination of relaxed regulations around gatherings and the Easter holiday period could push Gauteng’s third COVID-19 wave up on the calendar.

Makhura said that data was already beginning to show that surges may be on the way.

Makhura said that two or three huge events could trigger a third wave in the province.

“If you combine crowds and closed spaces, coronavirus thrives in that environment and that’s why we would be worried. The Easter weekend is also a period for people of faith and huge religious gatherings.”

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The premier said that he was also concerned about public transport, which posed a threat as it increased movement within the province.

“When large numbers of people are going to be travelling out of our province, (the question is) where will this catch up on us?”

Makhura stressed the importance of adhering to COVID-19 safety rules, saying it was simply not enough that some people were being vaccinated to prevent a third wave.

NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE VACCINATED TO PREVENT THIRD WAVE

The Gauteng COVID-19 command council said the province had not vaccinated enough people to prevent a possible third wave.

To date, at least 44,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated in the province the largest number of immunisations in the country.

The premier’s advisory council’s Dr Mary Kawonga told Gauteng residents that the second wave ended five weeks ago but that the province was not out of the woods.

Kawonga said the risk of viral spread remained even though vaccinations had started, that saying the numbers were too few to impact the pandemic’s trajectory.

“By the time we get to the long weekend for the Easter, we start seeing cooler weather when people start gathering indoors and we would have not have vaccinated enough people to be able to protect the community and prevent a potential third wave. So, the vaccination has started, which is great news and is giving individuals protection to the health workers, which is excellent. What we are saying is we have not vaccinated enough people.”

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