South Africa’s second coronavirus wave – and when to expect a vaccine

President Cyril Ramaphosa has provided an overview of the ANC’s plans for the country after the party’s national executive committee met over the weekend.

Ramaphosa indicated that the meeting covered a number of issues, including the economy, corruption, land and reforms. However, the bulk of the discussion appears to have focused on the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic recovery plan.

The president said that South Africa is now facing one of the greatest threats of the pandemic – that the activities that people engage in over the festive season will cause a second coronavirus wave in South Africa.

He said that there is also a danger that, like other countries around the world, South Africa could face a second peak that is greater than the first peak and will lead to more deaths.

“If we do have a second wave, it will not only cost lives and potentially overwhelm our health system, it will also undermine our economic and social recovery efforts,” he said.

However, Ramaphosa said that for the first time since the pandemic started there is now a prospect that it will come to an end through the use of a vaccine.

He said that South Africa is in the process of finalising its process in the Covax facility, which is a resource sharing initiative which will give countries suitable access to several possible vaccines.

“It is anticipated that we could have access to a suitable vaccine by the second quarter of 2021 and will initially receive quantities for at least 10% of the population.

“While this gives us hope, the reality is that it will take some time before we can vaccinate enough South Africans to be assured of little to no transmission of the virus, and it will be a costly undertaking.

“We need to prepare for this, and be ready to make the difficult decisions about where to find the money and when to deploy it,” he said.

On Monday, South Africa reported 3,313 new cases, taking the total reported to 817,878. Total deaths have reached 22,249 – a daily increase of 43.

Read: Lockdown forced nearly half of small businesses in South Africa to close: study

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