As the day of the local elections is approaching 1st November, political parties are campaigning hard, as their last push to gain votes before elections.
The health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla cautioned the political parties and warned them to not create super spreader events.
The health minister on Friday said although the country has not yet experienced any spike in Covid-19 infections linked to election campaigns, he stressed that this is not yet a point of comfort.
Minister Phaahla encouraged the political parties to limit the number of people attending their gatherings to 2000 or less.
“We are aware that the next three days are going to be the riskiest as political parties rally their supporters at big gatherings to motivate them to go out in big numbers on Monday,” he said
The Minister said it is too early to determine any risk posed by the election campaign, adding that it will likely only be known after November 15 whether the country came through the elections unscathed.
“We know that our biggest weapon against Covid-19 at this stage is vaccination and we have to use every opportunity where people will be gathered to offer vaccination. We are, therefore, very pleased with the partnership we have struck with the IEC in this regard,” Phaahla said.
The Department of Health will be setting up mobile pop-up vaccination sites in the vicinity of at least 1 000 voting stations throughout the country, which will target areas mainly where the uptake of vaccination has been low.
With that said the Stellenbosch University doctors warned that the local government elections could become a COVID-19 super spreader event if people don’t get vaccinated by 01 November.
They say the fourth wave of infections can be prevented if more people get the jab.
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Currently, South Africa is on Covid-19 lockdown level 1, sitting at 89151, deaths, 29211589 positive cases, 2813781 recoveries and 475 new cases.
By Siphokazi Mnyobe