Mkhize: Pfizer vaccines for elderly to be distributed to sites from tomorrow

There are still only four confirmed cases of that COVID-19 variant here in South Africa with no evidence yet that it was spreading among the communities.

The first batch of Pfizer vaccines has landed at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, 02 May 2021. Picture: Zweli Mkhize/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday said preventative efforts had been stepped up as government didn't want to see similar scenes of devastation unfolding in India where the variant of global concern was first detected.

There are still only four confirmed cases of that COVID-19 variant in South Africa with no evidence yet that it was spreading among the communities.

Mkhize said the number of COVID infections increasing in Gauteng and other provinces across the country were being closely monitored for indications of when the third wave hits the country.

“Technically, the country is not in the third wave yet. Once the country is at one-third of the previous peak, then we know that it’s no longer an outbreak that might be contained. It might start going to a full-blown third wave.”

The second phase of the vaccine rollout program will start on Monday and Mkhize said officials were ready to give the registered elderly their jabs.

“There is already Pfizer vaccines that are in place that are coming. They would have gone through testing and on the 12/13 May, they will then be distributed to the rest of the sites in the country. As we said, we will start slowly.”

LISTEN: Managing expected surge in COVID-19 cases in South Africa

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.