Limpopo Health encourages travellers to use vaccination points at roadblocks

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The Limpopo Health department says it’s on high alert as travellers make their way to the province for the festive season.

This time last year, the province saw a rise in COVID-19 infections, with authorities blaming the spike on inter-provincial movement.

However, this year the department says it’s better prepared for the influx of visitors.

Limpopo is regarded as the gateway to Africa. It’s the northernmost province leading to the rest of the African continent.

It is home to one of the biggest and busiest ports of entry, the Beitbridge border post in Musina. During the holiday season, tens of thousands of migrant workers also return home to Limpopo. It also boasts popular tourist destinations. Some travellers come to the province for family visits.

Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba says they learnt from the past.

“What we saw last year most of the people did not really believe that indeed we are going to see a disaster, interprovincial movement caused havoc last year. The history is painful, no one wants to go back and recall and relive what happened.”

Health authorities are appealing to travellers to make use of the vaccination points at roadblocks across the province.

“We’re saying this time around the difference is that there’s a vaccine. Last year we stopped you from coming because we had any other protective measures especially for our people here in the province. This time around we are saying welcome to the province provided you also take it upon yourself to get vaccinated at pop up sites are all over the country and also as a province, we are saying as you enter some of the roadblocks we are going to offer you that vaccine.”

Some of the young people said they will vaccinate.

“I want to vaccinate now because I want to be safe this time and I also want to protect the people I love, my family and friends.”

Others indicate that they have already taken the vaccine to lessen the chances of being infected and hospitalised.

“I vaccinated because I want to be safe especially around this time when people are travelling from Gauteng and other areas, coming home.”

Over 70 percent of Limpopo residents older than 60 have already been vaccinated.