Ramaphosa: 10% of citizens to access COVID-19 vaccine early next year
In his address to the nation on Monday night, Ramaphosa said all beaches in the Eastern Cape will be closed between 16 December and 3 January, while in KwaZulu-Natal they will be closed on certain days of the festive.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said 10% of South Africa’s population would have access to a COVID-19 vaccine early next year.
In his address to the nation on Monday night, the president said South Africa had concluded all necessary processes needed to ensure its participation in the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 global vaccine access facility.
This comes on the back of concerns that poorer countries would be left behind in the bid to obtain vaccines.
Ramaphosa said South Africa was part of both the WHO’s Covax facility and the African acquisition task team – with the latter looking to unlock alternative funding for additional vaccines for the continent.
He said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was part of the team searching for different finance mechanisms.
“And is also looking at innovative partnerships with the private sector to ensure that South Africans have access to an effective vaccine that is suitable to our conditions.”
But until then – the president has stressed the need to follow COVID-19 protocols.
Ramaphosa also used his address to pay tribute to healthcare workers – adding that more than 300 had died while thousands more contracted the virus
“As a nation, we owe so much to these brave and dedicated people and to their families, for without them, we would not have come this far.”
To date, over 38,000 health workers in the public sector have tested positive for coronavirus. Of these, nearly 5,000 were admitted to hospital.
Sadly, 391 health workers in the public sector have passed away.
The president has urged South Africans to give up short-lived pleasures to protect themselves and their loved ones
A BLEAK FESTIVE SEASON
He also announced a bleak festive season for South Africans with beach closures, the return of an 11 pm curfew and restricted alcohol sales.
Ramaphosa said all beaches in the Eastern Cape would be closed between 16 December and 3 January, while in KwaZulu-Natal they would be closed on certain days of the festive.
In the Western Cape, only beaches in the Garden Route, which is a COVID-19 hotspot, will be shut.
This as the country battles a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic with a more rapid rate of transmissions.
Ramaphosa said the next few weeks would be a great test of South Africa’s determination and resolve.
He’s adjusted COVID-19 protocols with some changes set to take place immediately.
Ramaphosa, in his stark warnings, called on the nation to do things differently: “If we do not do things differently this festive season, we will greet the new year not with joy but with sorrow.”
He also used the recent matric Rage event, to illustrate the danger of super-spreader gatherings.
“It is sad that up to 300 families could, in turn, have been infected. Just from this one event.”
The president said the measures, which include tougher enforcement of level one restrictions would be reviewed in January.