Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s top coronavirus adviser, Salim Abdool Karim, has stepped down – saying he needed to devote his attention to his HIV research and other academic commitments.
On Thursday, he said his term as the co-chair of the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on COVID-19 was coming to an end and he would be moving on.
“As the one-year anniversary of my term nears, the time has come for me to return to my HIV research and academic commitments. I am therefore stepping down from the MAC on COVID-19 (and consequently from the MAC on Vaccines as well), having served for a year, with my last day being 23 March 2021.”
Karim is an internationally respected scientist who heads the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
He also holds positions at the universities of Harvard, Columbia and Cornell.
Professor Karim said although there is was no immediate threat of a spike in COVID-19 cases in South Africa, everything possible must be done to avoid large Easter gatherings that could turn into super spreader events.