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'Let's avoid risky behaviour', Makhura urges Gauteng as cases rise

03 December 2021 - 08:00
Gauteng premier David Makhura. File photo.
Gauteng premier David Makhura. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

As Covid-19 infections in Gauteng rise at a rate “never seen before”, premier David Makhura has urged residents to avoid large gatherings.

Makhura was addressing media on Thursday, following a briefing by the provincial health department.

He expressed concern that at least eight million adults in Gauteng are not vaccinated, suggesting that infections could see a rapid increase if people don't avoid large gatherings.

“Let us avoid risky behaviour of large gatherings as they put us at greater risk. We need to vaccinate as this is the most powerful weapon to defeat the Omicron variant. We are in a better position than we were during the first wave, we have vaccines and the best scientists.”

Makhura said the province will continue implementing strategies to vaccinate as many residents as possible.

“We are back to above 50,000 vaccinations a day. We had fallen below 30,000 a day [in the past few weeks]. If we sustain 50,000 vaccinations daily during this period and into the festive season, we will be closer to reaching at least another half-a-million people before they leave Gauteng [on holiday].

“We want to persuade more people to take responsibility for their health by getting vaccinated. Once we have tried all options we will consider mandatory vaccinations,” he said.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged people to get vaccinated, saying a task team has been established to consider mandatory vaccinations.

“Government has set up a task team that will undertake broad consultations on making vaccinations mandatory for specific activities and locations.

“The task team will report to the inter-ministerial committee on vaccinations chaired by the deputy president, which will make recommendations to cabinet on a fair and sustainable approach to vaccine mandates.

“We realise that the introduction of such measures is a difficult and complex issue, but if we do not address this seriously and as a matter of urgency we will continue to be vulnerable to new variants and will continue to suffer new waves of infection,” he said.


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