Digital Covid-19 vaccine certificates to be launched this week, though some 'lucky individuals' already have them
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Pretoria - The national Department of Health says it has been inundated with public and media enquiries about challenges they face when trying to download and access Covid-19 digital vaccination certificates.
“The department is currently at the testing phase of the system to troubleshoot all possible glitches ahead of the official launch later this week,” said departmental spokesperson Foster Mohale.
He said the system is not yet officially functional in a live environment which will enable vaccinated individuals in South Africa to access and download certificates.
“We had to build a lot of security into the system to protect individuals’ data as much as possible. The development and release of fully-fledged Covid-19 vaccination certificates will be phased in over time,” said Mohale.
“Thus, we request members of the public to exercise patience while we implement the final refinement as we prepare to officially launch the first version of the Covid-19 vaccination digital certificate.”
Mohale conceded that the Department of Health was aware that “a few lucky individuals” managed to access the system and download their vaccination certificates.
Announcing the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the mooted vaccine certificates will be rolled out by the Department of Health as the government also made its final push, with a campaign to get over 16 million more vaccine jabs by December.
He said the Department of Health would roll out the vaccine certificates which could be used as a form of proof of vaccination for those wishing to travel or access establishments.
“The Department of Health should be rolling out a vaccination certificate which will provide a secure and a verifiable proof of vaccination certificate which can be used to facilitate travel to access establishments and gatherings and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination,” he said last week.
On Tuesday, South Africa recorded 768 new Covid-19 infection cases and 103 deaths, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 907 619.
“This increase represents a 2.7 percent positivity rate,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.
“As per the National Department of Health, a further 103 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 87 922 to date. 17 828 983 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.”
There has been an increase of 110 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of hospital admissions to 6 036.
The majority of new cases on Tuesday were from KwaZulu-Natal which accounted for 25 percent, followed by the Western Cape at 20 percent.