Ramaphosa: Vaccine contributed to infection reduction in healthcare sector

President Cyril Ramaphosa compared this figure to the 640 who were infected over a 7 day period in the rise of the second wave last year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a media briefing on 3 June 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said while the country’s vaccine rollout programme has suffered multiple setbacks – its already contributed to significant reductions in infections in the healthcare sector.

During his address to the nation on Tuesday night – the President said only 64 health care workers had contracted the virus over the past 7 days.

He compared this figure to the 640 who were infected over a 7 day period in the rise of the second wave last year.

The country at the time had not acquired any vaccines.

South Africa is in the early stages of the third wave – with four of its 9 provinces already seeing a rapid increase in confirmed cases.

Ramaphosa also placed the country back on alert level 3 - restricting the sale of alcohol products and increasing the curfew.

He said the pace of vaccinations is steadily increasing.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said almost 2 million South Africans have been inoculated

He said this is in spite of several delays which included universal shortages of the vaccines – the AstraZeneca setback and most recently the contamination of the J&J jabs.

But that the J&J problem is already being resolved

"The Aspen plant in Eastern Cape is now able to go ahead and produce new doses the company has committed to significantly ramp up production and begin supplying the country within the next few days".

The President in speaking on the way forward says the immediate task is to complete the inoculation of the elderly.

He also said South Africa has the capacity to jab more people at a faster rate

"It's estimated that we have a capacity at present to vaccinate at least 150 000 people a day and we are planning to increase that to 250 000 a day".

He said the reduced numbers of health care infections should give everyone in the country hope.

Full speech: Ramaphosa announces SA's move to level 3 lockdown

READ: SA moves to lockdown level 3, with changes to alcohol sales & curfew

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