The second batch of Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been delivered to the Northern Cape Department of Health.

The department is racing to speedily inoculate 14 000 healthcare workers across the province. In Kimberley, over 60-percent of the 3 920 health workers have already been vaccinated.

The rollout to other hospitals across the province will be done in the next few weeks.

The provincial health department spokesperson Lebogang Majaha says, “Over 2 500 of our healthcare staff were vaccinated and we truly appreciate their immense participation. We are however optimistic that our overall vaccination will be completed in record time within the two weeks’ specified timelines. Our message lastly to communities is for them to continue to social distance, wash hands regularly and sanitise.”

President Ramaphosa said on Sunday the National Coronavirus Command Council is monitoring the coronavirus infection rate ahead of Easter, as the holiday could become a super spreader event.

South Africans, meanwhile, are once again being urged not to lower their guard.

This as the number of daily infections is now at less than 2 000 cases and 200 deaths, compared with between 15 000 to 20 000 infections in December.

SA records 1 168 new COVID-19 cases and 52 deaths

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said phase two of the coronavirus vaccine rollout is expected to take place from the end of this month with the elderly and essential workers being among those who will get the inoculation.

He was speaking in a live address to the nation during which he announced that the country had entered Alert Level one of the lockdown.

Graphic: Lockdown Alert Level one:

The President says the country has secured vaccines from different manufacturers to ensure herd immunity.

Government aims to vaccinate over 40 million people before the end of 2021.

It has so far vaccinated over 67 000 healthcare workers in phase one of the nationwide programme.

President Ramaphosa says government will secure enough doses of vaccines to vaccinate the whole nation.

He says more vaccine sites will be activated during phase two of the rollout.

“We have recently signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses. Of these doses, 2.8 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter and the rest spread throughout the year.

We have also secured 20 million doses from Pfizer, which will be delivered from the second quarter. Additionally, we have secured 12 million vaccine doses from the COVAX facility and are in the process of finalising our dose allocation from the African Union (AU),” he adds.