Nelson Mandela Bay is officially out of the COVID-19 third wave.
This was revealed during the COVID-19 Joint Operating Centre (JOC) meeting on Tuesday when the Department of Health highlighted that as at October 4, 2021, the city had a total of 342 COVID-19 active cases and 136 hospital admissions.
NMBM mayor, Nqaba Bhanga, who led the Presidential Vooma Vaccination drive on Saturday, said that the latest statistics were a collective effort from all stakeholders.
"The current state of affairs was a collective effort of the people of this city who worked together to flatten the curve which had spiked to a high positivity rate and claimed more lives,” Bhanga said.
“For the first time in a while we heard good news in the JOC meeting today, where we learnt that our city is finally out of the long dragging third wave. It has been a devastating period, at one point, we lost 21 people between 22-30 August. Around the same period, our positivity rate was 31.4% and so many of our people had to be hospitalised but we are now glad to have such low numbers.”
He added that a lot of work still needs to be done and at the top of the list, the metro needed to ensure that residents get vaccinated against the virus, especially now that the festive season is fast approaching.
He said that following the easing of restrictions and more activities and gatherings because of the upcoming local government elections, the situation could easily change for the worse.
"The active cases can be low now, but it can take one super spreader event, and everything can go wrong. We are calling on all political parties to please act responsibly during these gatherings but most importantly, we are calling on all residents to continue to adhere to all COVID-19 protocols, whether they are vaccinated or not,” Bhanga emphasised.
He mentioned that it was encouraging that 7 200 residents received their vaccination shots over the Vooma Vaccination weekend, making it the highest positive response since the Department of Health started the weekend vaccination rollout.
“We are nowhere near getting herd immunity, only 28% of our population has been fully vaccinated. We are happy that more people are getting vaccinated and call on those who are still hesitant to take the jab. It is the only way we can get back to normal life. It is the school holidays now and we need parents and guardians to please look after the children so that we don’t see an increase in these numbers as a result of their ignorance or carelessness,” Bhanga said, adding that being on Alert Level 1, did not justify irresponsible behaviour from anyone.