South Africa can finally breathe a sigh of relief when the president relaxes the Covid-19 blockade due to the declining in infection rate.
On Monday, February 1st, the President addressed the nation.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was the first to confirm the arrival of the first one million doses of AstraZenica Covid-19 vaccine, describing it as a turning point in the fight against the virus.
He acknowledged that the unprecedented pace of development of the Covid-19 vaccine was a sign of the monumental effort humanity being made to fight the common enemy.
Ramaphosa said that the vaccines will be tested to make sure that the vital medicine had not been compromised on the trip from India.
The vaccine will be rolled out following the government's plan and will focus on primary health care workers at 200 sites across the country.
Following this phase, the next group will receive the vaccine, including those over 65 and those who are vulnerable to infection.
The final phase will be to roll out the vaccine to the rest of the country.
Ramaphosa explained that the Ministry of Health has a database of people who are eligible for the first phase and will update it as necessary.
He explained that China will source Covid-19 vaccine from another source. Apart from the one million does which have arrived, Another 500 thousand will arrive.
The additional 9 million doses will come from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have promised an additional 20 million doses of the vaccine.
Ramaphosa thanked MTN for helping to secure Covid-19 vaccines for the African continent.
The end game is to secure enough vaccine doses to reach herd immunity, which means enough people are immune from the virus that it can no longer be transmitted.
This requires 67% of the population be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Ramaphosa explained that the vaccine has undergone extensive testing and has been tested for side effects and efficiency.
He reassured South Africa that the vaccines that the country will receive have been thoroughly tested.
Ramaphosa added that all people living in South Africa will be vaccinated regardless of legal status.
He made it clear that the no one will be given to the vaccination against their will or in secret and no one will be prohibited from travelling or be enrolled in schools if they have not taken the vaccine.
He pleaded with people to stop spreading fake news about the vaccine.
Mr. Ramaphosa was happy to announce that South Africa had passed the peak of the second wave as the number of new infections has come down to half of what it was.
The number of hospital admissions has also dropped significantly.Mr Ramaphosa thanked those who complied with the restrictions of the blockade for halting the spread of the virus and saving lives.
Mr. Ramaphosa said the restrictions would remain in place only as long as necessary and that the government would work to repair the damage to business and the economy.
After a number of consultations and the decline in new cases, the government has decided to relax the lockdown restrictions.
The curfew would be adjusted to the hours between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am. Religious gatherings would be permitted within certain parameters depending on numbers and venue capacity.
"The sale of alcohol by licensed premises for on-site consumption – such as restaurants and taverns – will be permitted throughout the week from 10am to 10pm."
Mask wearing, hand sanitising and social distancing will remain in place. Ramaphosa called on South Africans to remain vigilant and continue to wear masks whenever in public places and if you meet with others, Ramaphosa asked people to do it outside.
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