Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says the Military Health Service has been roped in to assist the sector in preparing for further increases in coronavirus cases across Gauteng.

Of the 11 767 new cases reported in the last 24-hours nationwide, 7 502 are from Gauteng.

Kubayi-Ngubane has appealed to Gauteng residents to strictly adhere to COVID-19 health protocols amid a rise in infections across the province.

“I would really want to appeal, can we respond and save the lives of many South Africans in your province as the health practitioners are starting to be under pressure. We have requested additional capacity to assist Gauteng in terms of military help that has moved into the province to assist us by moving into the hospitals.”

“We need the human capital for the beds we are making available for managing the pandemic. The second area they will assist us in, is around mass testing, screening and contact tracing,” explains the minister.

The Acting Minister of Health together with a panel of experts have been briefing the media on the progress of government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19, including an update on the national vaccination roll out programme.

Briefing below:

On vaccines

Kubayi-Ngubane says a consignment of vaccines, intended to inoculate teachers, arrived in South Africa on Thursday.

It comes amid concerns over a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases at schools, with both educators and learners having been infected.

The acting minister says, “We are able to talk about the President announcing the 300 000 vaccines that will arrive. I can confirm that happened on Thursday at 17:45. We received the consignment that arrived in the country. It has been identified to assist us with teachers and others who work on the front lines such as the police.”

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