South Africa’s first batch of coronavirus vaccines is due to arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport on Monday. President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, will receive South Africa’s first consignment of one-million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca.

The first consignment of the vaccine will target frontline workers. It was purchased from India and left Mumbai yesterday.

The second batch of 500 000 vaccines is scheduled to arrive later in February.

SA’s latest COVID-19 cases

South Africa recorded 4 525 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of detected cases to 1 453 761.

The Department of Health says 213 more people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications.

This puts the national death toll at 44 164.

The recovery rate now stands at 1 299 620.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize talks about the arrival  of the COVID-19 vaccine:

Meanwhile, senior researcher at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Ridhwaan Suliman says there has been a significant drop in the number of coronavirus cases.

“The 7-day average currently stands at just over 6 300 per day over the last week. That is a decline of 44% compared to a week ago. New cases have halved over the last eight to nine days.”

“Over the last 3 to 4 weeks, this sustained decrease is a reflection of the measures and interventions that have been put in place. People are certainly more compliant with the regulations,” adds Dr Suliman.

 Dr Suliman explains that the COVID-19 second wave seems to have peaked in all the provinces and the infection rates are now coming down: