Gauteng's Makhura warns of third wave if COVID-19 vaccine isn’t rolled out soon

The vaccine rollout programme started last week with the Johnson and Johnson jabs as part of a research program among health care workers.

Gauteng Premier David Makura delivers his State of the Province Address in the Gauteng Legislature on 23 February 2021. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura warned that a third COVID-19 wave was still a possibility and the vaccine rollout programme had to be done with urgency, especially with winter coming soon.

The province has more than 401,000 COVID-19 cases and 9,481 people died of the virus.

The vaccine rollout programme started last week with the Johnson and Johnson jabs as part of a research programme among healthcare workers.

The aim is to inoculate 10.4 million people this year as part of the country's plan to immunise 67% of the population.

Makhura said so far, 5,000 healthcare workers had received their jabs in the province.

“The vaccination plan has to be rolled out as a matter of urgency to reach massive numbers of people so we can save more lives.”

PRIORITIES FOR NEW FINANCIAL YEAR

The premier also announced his four priorities for the new financial year amid the pandemic, which include plans to boost the economy.

The province - which is seen as the economic hub of the country - is deeply concerned that many municipalities deteriorated during the pandemic due to a loss of over R8.75 billion in revenue between April and July last year.

Makhura said that this year had been devastating for residents and the state but there was hope.

“We’re beginning to see hope, we’re entering the new vaccine phase. We will bounce back.”

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