President Ramaphosa to address the nation at 8pm
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Sunday, on developments in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Presidency said.
The address follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet.
The president’s latest “family meeting” comes as South Africa’s Covid-19 death rate rose to 49 941 on Saturday, after 157 more people succumbed to the virus.
The country recorded 1447 new cases of the virus on February 27, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 1 512 225.
However, recoveries now stand at 1 429 047, which represents a recovery rate of 94 percent.
The country currently has 33 237 active Covid-19 cases, with the highest number being in KwaZulu-Natal, which has 9624 cases. This is followed by the Free State, with 6442 cases, Western Cape (6132) and Gauteng (3695).
South Africa began its vaccination rollout last week, and the Health Department said on Saturday that 67 303 healthcare workers have been vaccinated so far.
The rapid rollout of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine to healthcare workers through the Sisonke Programme is a critical first step in the three-phase national vaccination rollout plan, the department said.
Another batch of 80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in South Africa from Brussels on Saturday.
The actual J&J vaccine has yet to be commercially approved for use in the country – that process is still under way.
On Saturday the US government authorised the use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccine on over-18s.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced the emergency use authorization of the J&J vaccine following Friday's unanimous endorsement by the agency's panel of outside experts. Shipments to vaccination sites are expected to begin Sunday or Monday.
The Russian-made coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V might be the next vaccine to arrive on our shores.
This comes after the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) confirmed that it has received documentation for the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Russia.
IOL and Reuters