Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says a consignment of vaccines, intended to inoculate teachers and other frontline workers, arrived in South Africa on Thursday.
Kubayi-Ngubane was speaking in a virtual briefing. She, together with a panel of experts briefed the media on the progress in government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19, including an update on the national vaccination roll out programme.
“We are able to talk about the President announcing the 300 000 vaccines that will arrive. I can confirm that that happened yesterday 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 frontlines such as the police.”
Media briefing below:
The National Department of Health also says they expect to receive more than 1.3 million Pfizer vaccines via COVAX by the end of this month. This was also announced during the virtual media briefing.
Director-General of the Department of Health, Sandile Buthelezi elaborates, “Before the end of the month we expect to receive 1.3 Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility. So that one is signed and sealed and we will be getting it. So we will be expecting 1.2 plus 1.3 of the Pfizer vaccines, which is quite a sizeable amount of the vaccine.”
Gauteng COVID-19 cases surge
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.