How many people have come in contact with Covid-19 in SA?
Health minister Joe Phaahla said on Tuesday almost 70% of the population has come into contact with Covid-19.
The minister made the revelation while he tabled the department’s budget vote before a mini-plenary of the National Assembly.
Its focus was on health priorities including Covid-19 management, National Health Insurance and the response to communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The minister said while 70% had developed natural immunity against Covid-19, he stressed vaccination remained the most effective response against the coronavirus.
Phaahla said government had made strides in its vaccination drive with more than 35-million South Africans vaccinated, but millions need to get their jabs.
“While more than 70% of the population have had contact with the virus, and therefore we have some natural immunity, the truth is this immunity wears with time and cannot be boosted. While the virus is among us, the best defence is vaccination.”
The minister defended government’s response to the pandemic, with his comments directed at “armchair critics” who are against the implementation of protective measures., saying they are for the benefit and safety of South Africans.
He said government finds “no joy” in inconveniencing South Africans with the regulations.
“We completely disagree with armchair critics who argue we should drop all public health measures and let the virus spread at will and only worry about whether hospitals are full,” he said.
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