Covid-19 weekly round-up: SA has secured enough vaccines for all adults

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published May 31, 2021

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Cape Town - South Africa has secured enough vaccines to reach all adults in the country, which is around 40 million people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said this in his address to the nation on Sunday evening.

This includes 31 million doses of the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses to provide full protection.

Close to a million health-care workers and those over the age of 60 have received their vaccine since the roll-out kicked off in February.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said phase two of the roll-out may be slow to start, however, the numbers should pick up after a few weeks.

There are at present more than 400 vaccination sites in operation across the country in the public and private sectors.

Over the last two weeks, over 480 000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, however, these people will need to have a second dose 42 days after their first.

Here’s what adjusted level 2 means for South Africans

South Africa has been moved to Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from Monday due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The country on average is recording around 3 700 new Covid-19 cases a day, and cases have increased by 31% from the previous week.

Ramaphosa said the provinces of the Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng have already reached the threshold of a third wave and it is only a matter of time until the entire country reaches a third wave.

Only a few restrictions have been reintroduced under adjusted alert level 2, which include:

* The hours of curfew will start at 11pm and end at 4am.

* Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will close by 10pm, to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.

* And all gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.

Alcohol sales will be permitted as normal under alert level 2.

Zweli Mkhize rocked by Digital Vibes scandal

Investigations are under way that involve an irregular tender awarded to Digital Vibes, a communications company associated with individuals linked to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize conceded last week that the R150 million contract was irregular, but said that he had not benefited from it.

Digital Vibes had been appointed in 2019 to provide communication services for the government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) roll-out, but it was expanded last year to include Covid-19 communication work.

The company is accused of inflating pricing and doing work that the department could do internally.

Mkhize said a legal process was under way to recover the funds which were illegally paid. He said whether there was any corruption involved in the payment of funds was yet to be determined as an investigation of money flows was under way.

The Special Investigating Unit is also probing the same contract.

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