Phaahla still hopeful of vaccinating 70% of adults by December

The minister was giving an update on government interventions to rein in further spread of the coronavirus as well as their targets regarding South Africa's mass COVID-19 immunisation programme.

FILE: Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: @HealthZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions might be on the cards if infection numbers kept dropping and residents complied with the rules.

The minister was giving an update on government interventions to rein in further spread of the coronavirus as well as their targets regarding South Africa's mass COVID-19 immunisation programme.

“If there's continued good cooperation and good progress, we'll get even more relaxation, we might then go to midnight in terms of the curfew,” he said.

Phaahla said they were reporting back to the National Coronavirus Command Council in two weeks.

He added that the department was still chasing the target of administering 300,000 COVID-19 jabs per day but said good progress was being made.

“We are currently at 28% of the adult population, we want to reach 70% before Christmas. So, we still have a lot of work to do,” said the minister.

The health ministry has stressed the importance of South Africans complying with COVID-19 safety regulations to ensure infection numbers keeping declining.

Government said although coastal provinces were still recording the highest daily numbers of coronavirus infections, they have, however, seen a steady decline over the past four weeks.

Phaahla has emphasised that numbers aren’t coming down in the Free State as well the neighbouring Northern Cape.

Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela said they were seeing a rise in infections in younger people in particular.

“I am concerned that those between the age of 10 and 19 years old are getting infected.”

More than 15.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been so far administered in the country; a number government desperately wants to increase before the end of the year.

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