20 borders to close, 20 million doses of COVID vaccine secured - Ramaphosa

The president also announced that 20 of SA's borders would be closed in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on 11 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night called on all South African to support the government’s plan to roll out the coronavirus vaccine.

He gave an update on measures the country had in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Ramaphosa said government already secured 20 million doses of the vaccine for the current year.

“We will administer vaccinations through hospitals, clinics, outreach services and mobile clinics, and private settings such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies and workplaces. While there are several promising negotiations with a number of different manufacturers that still need to be concluded, we have to date secured 20 million doses to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year.”

The first group to get vaccinated would be frontline health workers.

“In Phase 2, when more vaccines arrive, we will prioritise essential workers such as teachers, police, municipal workers and other frontline personnel. We will also prioritise people in institutions like old age homes, shelters and prisons, people over 60 years of age and adults with comorbidities. The total number we plan to reach in this phase is around 16 million people,” he said.

The remaining adult population of approximately 22.5 million people will then be vaccinated in the third phase.

“We will then have reached around 40 million South Africans, which is considered to approximate herd immunity.”

WATCH: SA's vaccine strategy: All you need to know

BORDERS TO BE CLOSED

The president also announced that 20 of South Africa's borders would be closed in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“To reduce congestion and the high risk of transmission, Cabinet has decided that the 20 land ports of entry that are currently open will be closed until the 15 February for general entry and departure.”

These include the six busiest border posts, which are Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein.

People will, however, still be allowed to enter or depart the country for:

  • the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods;

  • emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition;

  • the return of South African nationals, permanent residents or persons with other valid visas;

  • diplomats;

  • the departure of foreign nationals and

  • daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa.

WATCH: Adjusted level 3 remains, but curfew changes and land borders close

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