The Department of Health’s vooma vaccination weekend was marred on Saturday in Soshanguve when five men robbed a vaccination team at gunpoint.
The robbery took place at the township’s Wonder City Taxi Rank when the armed suspects driving a white Toyota Quantum suddenly attacked health workers at around 9am.
Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the perpetrators fled with vaccination programme gadgets, consisting of three tablets, one smartphone and six cellphones belonging to the team.
Kekana said the department condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack on the Tshwane District vaccination team.
In a separate incident, on November 29, a West Rand Health District Services bakkie was hijacked with mobile site equipment and gazebos in Chamdor, Kagiso township.
Cases of robbery for both incidents were opened at Soshanguve and Kagiso police stations.
Kekana said: “Fortunately no team members were harmed in either case and counselling will be provided to the affected staff.
“These senseless acts occurred at a time when the province is ramping up its vaccination programme by activating more vaccination sites in all the districts in order to vaccinate as many people as possible.”
She called on all members of society to work with law enforcement agencies and to share any information they might have on the two incidents.
“Our health-care workers remain the backbone of the health system.
“During the pandemic they continue to play a pivotal role in terms of the vaccination programme rollout,” Kekana said.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Health Department reported that a total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province as of December 4 stood at 984 479.
The figure included 914 752 recoveries and 19 718 deaths.
A total number of 1 539 people were currently hospitalised and more than 7 154 105 vaccinations have been administered to date.
“As of December 4 the total number of individuals fully vaccinated sits at 3 824 518,” Kekana said.
She encouraged people aged 12 and older to visit their nearest vaccination site to receive the jab.
“It is thought that by getting 70% or more of the adult population vaccinated, we can minimise the impact of the fourth wave.
“This will also help us return to the things we love such as attending sporting, cultural, religious and entertainment events of our choice safely,” she said.