Phaahla warns of 'worrying signs' after increase in Covid-19 infections

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla
Health Minister Joe Phaahla
PHOTO: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images
  • Health Minister Joe Phaahla has warned that there are "worrying signs" of a rise in Covid-19 infections.
  • He says this is being monitored.
  • The Department of Health presented its annual performance plan to Parliament on Friday.

"Worrying signs" that Covid-19 infections are on the rise have been detected over the last two days, Health Minister Joe Phaahla has warned.

He introduced his department's annual performance plan to the Portfolio Committee on Health on Friday morning.

Phaahla said the last two years had been dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The department's energy, financial and human resources weighed heavily in favour of containing the pandemic.

"We are hopeful, as we present the annual performance plan, that the 2022-'23 financial year will be different from the last two financial years," he said.

"We hope that there will be more stability in the pandemic, that the pandemic will be better contained."

He referred to the Omicron variant of the virus, which was highly infectious but not severe, and said he hoped this trend would continue so that the department could focus on its programmes and not be "diverted" like it had been during the last two years.

READ | Covid-19 regulations: South Africans now have until 24 April to comment on proposed laws

Phaahla, however, tempered this hope.

He said:

Over the last two days, we have seen worrying signs of a rise in Covid-19 infections. We hope that this will not go much higher. But we are monitoring, and we will be able to report back to the committee and the public once we have seen the trend.

On Thursday, South Africa recorded 4 406 new coronavirus cases, of which 2 157 were recorded in Gauteng. The previous day, 2 846 new cases were recorded, close to half of it from Gauteng.



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