Health minister Joe Phaahla says SA has over the past few days seen worrying trends in the rise in Covid-19 infections.
However, he hopes the next wave of infections will not be as disruptive as previous waves.
Phaahla was speaking on Friday at parliament’s portfolio committee on health ahead of the national health department revealing its spending plans for the 2022/23 financial year.
“Over the past few days we have seen worrying signs of a rise in the level of Covid-19 infections. We hope this will not go higher. We are monitoring the situation and will report back to the committee and public once we have seen the trend. We need to give it a little more time to see how it is going to behave.”
On Thursday the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 4,406 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the overall number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,750,830. This rise reflected a 15.8% increase in the positivity rate.
“We hope that even if there is a rise as we go into wintert it will not be disruptive enough to divert us from our programmes,” Phaahla said.
He said department’s programmes over the past two years were dominated by efforts to contain the coronavirus, including vaccination rollouts which required a lot of energy and financial resources.