A traditional leader from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has taken the initiative to encourage people to be vaccinated against COVID-19, on the eve of the arrival of the first batch of vaccines.

It is believed that some people prefer traditional treatments over a vaccine, while others put their trust in steaming.

Umgababa’s Inkosi Phathisizwe Luthuli told residents in rural areas not to hold events and ceremonies that may lead to the spread of COVID-19.

Luthuli, together with eThekwini Municipality members, drove through the area in a motorcade to raise awareness around the virus. They also aimed to dispel myths around COVID-19.  They used loud hailers to encourage community members to wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing.

Luthuli has called on community members to support the vaccine that will soon be rolled out by government.

“I would like to encourage my people from the Luthuli clan and all other communities especially those in areas under Amakhosi, that they take the coming vaccine because it will save lots of lives, we have seen lots of people dying from COVID-19, I encourage communities to take the vaccine.”

Government’s coronavirus vaccine roll-out plan: 

Local councillor, Buyi Gumede, has encouraged community members to stay at home as far as possible.

“They have to stay at home due to COVID-19, this time we have to stay at home. We don’t need to visit each other.”

Residents have welcomed this initiative, saying some still continue to disregard regulations.

“Government does need this kind of support especially from stakeholders such as Amakhosi because what is important is the safety of the people,” says one of the residents.

The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected in South Africa on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal has more than 300 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which over 45 000 are active.