Covid-19: Joburg mayor turns to experts to plot response to Omicron variant amid fourth wave fears

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Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse.
Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse.
Lucky Morajane
  • Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse will be consulting experts to plot a response to the new Covid-19 variant.
  • The province has seen a steep rise in Covid-19 cases, which could be linked to the Omicron variant.
  • The fourth wave, described as imminent by health officials, is likely to peak around mid-December, said Phalatse. 

Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse will be meeting with technical experts following increased numbers of Covid-19 in the province and the identification of the Omicron variant.

In a statement, Phalatse said she was concerned about the new variant and would be consulting with experts with a "view of understanding the variant to guide the City's response to the variant".

"At this stage, there is not a lot of information on this new variant, as scientists continue to research it," said Phalatse.

"The City is continuing with mass vaccination of residents and aims to reach more people as the vaccination rollout remains critical to curbing the impact of the fourth wave. The vaccination programme is a priority in the fight to minimise the spread of Covid-19 infection, as it has been proven that vaccinations decrease the risk of death for those who are immunised."

ALSO READ | Omicron variant: Answers 'weeks' away, warns top scientist as 'unjustified' SA shut-out slammed

The fourth wave was likely to peak around mid-December. However, more data modelling would be available in the coming weeks, said Phalatse.

As of Friday, the province had recorded 2 173 new Covid-19 infections - 77% of all new cases in the country.

In a statement on Friday, the Gauteng health department said the number of cases this week was four times higher than in previous weeks, "pointing to an imminent fourth wave".

The City of Johannesburg urged residents to continue wearing a mask in public, sanitise hands and to practice social distancing.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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