Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, her deputy Dr Joe Phaahla and a panel of experts will on Friday morning convene a virtual media briefing on the progress of government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the national vaccination roll-out programme.

This comes as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says South Africa has recorded 22 910 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

It takes the country’s total number of reported infections to 2 135 246 since the start of the pandemic.

Four hundred and sixty more people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications bringing the total number of fatalities to 63 499.

INFOGRAPHIC: Latest COVID-19 Statistics in SA:

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Vaccines

Epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says South Africa needs to order more vaccines for it to effectively manage the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are several countries that have doses of vaccines sitting in their stockpiles that they haven’t planned to use or don’t have an immediate use for but they have those vaccines. We need them to please donate it to Africa so that we can at least try to vaccinate the elderly and the healthcare workers. To me, we should be trying to achieve some measure of equity in the availability of doses.”

VIDEO: Last week, Prof Karim reacted to the country being put on lockdown Level 4:

Herd immunity

The Western Cape will need to vaccinate 3.5 million people to reach herd immunity.

The province has to date administered just over 500 000 vaccine doses, but says the reluctance in some communities may hamper their efforts.

The province is now firmly in the third wave of infections with some 2 000 cases being reported daily.

VIDEO: SABC’s Vanessa Poonah filed the story: