'We can’t rest until we find a vaccine': Zweli Mkhize warns of possible Covid-19 surge
Health minister Zweli Mkhize has warned of a possible Covid-19 resurgence as the country moves to lockdown level 1.
The warning comes as the number of cumulative infections sit at 661,221, while the death total reached 15,953 at the weekend.
Mkhize said the country had not yet been cleared of the coronavirus despite moving to level 1.
“South Africans need to know that level 1 is not like everything is over. It’s just to say let’s try rebuild the economy, let’s try build our social and religious traditions and everything. We have to try to bring ourselves to normality. That’s all it means, but it is a new normality. It’s no longer the same as before,” Mkhize said on Monday.
“There’s a pre-Covid world and a post-Covid world. We are now in the post-Covid world. We have to make sure we take precautions because infections can resurge. We must not lose the message and be complacent. We have to continue the fight and therefore the containment measures remain in place.”
Mkhize cautioned that the number of weekly infections remained high.
“We are not out of the woods,” he said. “We are searching for a vaccine. We can't rest before we get a vaccine.”
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With alert level 1 under way, South Africa has endured trials and tribulations since the beginning of the national lockdown. TimesLIVE sat down with vaccinology and infectious disease expert Prof Shabir Madhi from Wits University, who shed some light on what could be next for the country, and a few lessons learnt along the way. He gives an update on the vaccine trial and considers the possibilities of a second wave of infection, warning that the country is not yet out of the woods.