Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says the spread of fake news on the COVID-19 pandemic makes it harder to stop the spread of the virus in the country.

She says people should scrutinise messages they receive and not fall prey to false information.

According to the latest figures released by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, there are more than 79 000 active coronavirus cases in the country after another 9 320 new cases were recorded, most of them in Gauteng.

Latest SA COVID-19 stats:

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Kubayi-Ngubane has urged South Africans to follow the basic protocols to avoid coronavirus infections.

“There is a lot of fake news as well that goes around. You find people say because I have had COVID-19 previously I would not have it, it is not true. Others would think because I have been vaccinated therefore I would not get COVID-19, that is not true. It is important for us to remember the basics. And when you are not sure please ask health practitioners in your area. Reach out to our website.”

Vaccine progress

Kubayi- Ngubane says she is also concerned that the COVID-19 vaccination programme is progressing slower than anticipated. Speaking in an interview with the SABC, Kubayi- Ngubane said government was working hard to increase the number of vaccinations per day but that a shortage of vaccines is hampering efforts.

One-on-one with SA’s acting Health Minister:

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, SAHPRA confirmed this morning that two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine won’t be released from the Aspen plant in Gqeberha after they were found to be affected by contamination issues at a vaccine manufacturing plant in the US.

Kubayi-Ngubane says she hopes the number of daily vaccinations will increase significantly over the next few weeks.

“The initial target for us is to increase the numbers in terms of vaccinations per day. So we are reconciling the figures to ensure that between private and public we can account fully. Others are giving us the amount 165 000 per day across the country both in terms of public and private. We want to push that to almost 250 000 because we think the system can be able to push to that. We will look at where the glitches are. The reporting and allocation are very important as we split.”