Mabuyane calls for calm, vigilance in face of new Covid-19 variant
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has called on residents to remain calm, after the emergence in Southern Africa of a new Covid-19 variant known as B.1.1.529, or Omicron.
On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the National Coronavirus Command Council to discuss the variant as well as the recent spike in new infections, particularly in Gauteng.
The emergence of Omicron, which is potentially more transmissible than previous iterations of the virus, has rattled world markets and led many countries to impose bans on flights to and from southern African countries, including SA.
According to the latest Covid-19 figures, the number of active cases in the Eastern Cape is 181.
Mabuyane urged residents of the province and people returning home for the festive period from other provinces and outside SA to comply with the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Residents are urged to continue wearing their face masks in public places, maintain social distancing and wash and sanitise their hands regularly.
‘’We call on each of us in our family units, communities as well as society gatherings over this festive period to be reminded of the sacrifices that have already been made since the advent of the novel coronavirus nearly two years ago now.
“Many jobs have been shed largely due to the necessary adjusted level national lockdown to save lives, however, this has had devastating consequences for the poor and working-class as businesses shut down.”
Mabuyane said the province had largely managed to stabilise the rate of new infections.
‘’Our economy which has been battered but has weathered the storm is now starting to rebound.
“While the numbers are still very low, more people are returning to the workplace as the economy reopens.
‘’We dare not let the gains we have made slip away from our grasp, we dare not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security — even those among us who have been vaccinated must continue to adhere to the established safety norms to manage this pandemic,’’ Mabuyane said.
The number of confirmed cases in the province since the start of the pandemic is 289,143, according to statistics released by the national department of health.
More than 277,700 people have recovered and about 15,200 have died.
The country’s recovery rate is at 96.3%.
So far, 25,274,889 vaccinations have been administered nationwide.
In the Eastern Cape, more than 2-million doses have been administered.
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