Europe is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 forcing many European countries to go into lockdown again. Scientists in South Africa called on South Africans to learn from the mistakes made by other countries and continue to observe regulations pertaining to social distancing and hygiene. “South Africans cannot become complacent and lazy. If that happens, we will face another wave of the Coronavirus which could see the country going into lockdown again. Especially with the festive season approacing, South Africans have to adhere to established protocol,” said one scientist.
It is close to a year since the coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China. Since the outbreak scientists across the globe have pleaded with people to steer clear of social gatherings, to work from home, and to wear a mask when they do venture outside. South Africans see the festive season as an opportunity for year-end functions, family braai’s, and packed beaches.
The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, Professor Abdool Karim, however said that now was not the time to forget that we were in the grip of a global pandemic. “People are tired, they’re frustrated, they’re irritated and they just want it to end. We control our risks and we control our country’s risk. If we are just a bit more careful… we just need to hang in there.”
Professor Shabir Madhi of Wits Vaccinology said that South Africa was already experiencing a resurgence in cases. “When you go around South Africa right now, people have become more complacent in terms of the use of the face maks, in terms of the physical distancing, in terms of avoiding overcrowded places. Complacency has crept in.” It is this complacency and super spreader events that have been the key drivers in the second wave gripping Europe and the United States.