Tito Mboweni opens up about feeling helpless against Covid-19: 'It's real, get vaccinated'

Mboweni said the vaccine is the most effective fighting chance South Africans have against the virus.

02 September 2021 - 13:30
Former finance minister Tito Mboweni says he feels helpless against Covid-19. File photo.
Former finance minister Tito Mboweni says he feels helpless against Covid-19. File photo.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Former finance minister Tito Mboweni is urging South Africans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures to avert the spread of the virus.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Thursday, Mboweni shared that in his personal capacity, he feels helpless against the virus.

“So many people I know have experienced the virus and some have died. Close to home, in our family, we have had three deaths from Covid-19 and two of my very close family members are now are struggling with it. It's not a faraway thing, it's close to home. It's real. It's not theoretical,” he said. 

Mboweni said the vaccine is the most effective fighting chance South Africans have against the virus. 

“People must get vaccinated as quickly as they can, but more importantly, vaccination does not mean that we must stop the non-pharmaceutical interventions. Therefore it's important to keep up with the basic non-pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands and sanitising,” he said.

The former minister said it was worrying that people, including government officials, were letting their guard down by hosting and attending public gatherings.

“People are now beginning to have parties where they don't wear masks. We have seen a situation where even some leading politicians, MECs go to parties in closed environments where there is very little ventilation.
Tito Mboweni 

“People are now beginning to have parties where they don't wear masks. We have seen a situation where even some leading politicians and MECs go to parties in closed environments where there is very little ventilation. All these things are not good for our fight against the coronavirus,” said Mboweni.

SA has surpassed the 12-million vaccinations mark, which Mboweni said demonstrates the government's dedication to the fight against Covid-19.

“It's a great stride and we should commend the government, having worked with the citizens to reach that milestone. We have a long way to go until we reach herd immunity,” he said.

Mboweni got his two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the CN Phathudi and Giyani Hospitals in Limpopo. He said though there were many people lined up for the jab, there were more women than men.

“I don't know why the men are not going in large numbers, but the women were there in large numbers and I was impressed by the response I saw, and the dedication of the medical staff,” he said. 


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