By Kaya 959 News
President Cyril Ramaphosa is concerned about the spike in South Africa’s COVID-19 cases. Over the last three days, SA has recorded 10 462 new infections.
According to the latest testing data from the National Health Ministry, 2 894 cases were recorded on Sunday, with 4 236 cases on Saturday and 3 332 cases on Friday.
Currently, SA has a total of 1 635 465 COVID-19 cases with a death toll of 55 802.
Speaking during a handover of title deeds to black farmers in Limpopo on Sunday, Ramaphosa said he is worried about the third wave because of the increase in numbers.
“So we are keeping a close eye on that and we are working very hard, very, very hard indeed, to try and get those vaccines released. The vaccines are in place in South Africa,” he said.
Issues around vaccine
Ramaphosa said there were many issues around the vaccines. He said many of those issues were out of the government’s hands.
“We were waiting for the Johnson & Johnson vaccines to come through and all of a sudden, six people died in the United States and there was a stoppage. Our own authority rules that it should stop so that it could never have been in our hands,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the government was able to get a batch of Pfizer vaccines and the government is working hard to get the vaccines released.
He said many countries in Africa are waiting for vaccines to be made available.
He added that he has argued strongly, while on a recent state trip to Paris, that Africa be allowed to manufacture its own vaccines.
He said if this was allowed, the country would be in a better position to roll out vaccines.
Highest confirmed cases in Gauteng
Gauteng remains the province with the highest number of confirmed/active cases (11 144), followed by the Northern Cape (7 579) and the Free State( 7 093). SA has a total of 40 268 active cases of COVID-19.
While it is unclear when or if the government will move the country to a stricter lockdown, the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in SA (SAAPA SA) continues to call for restrictions on alcohol sales and a complete ban on advertising during the current State of Disaster.
“This does not translate to calling for a ban on access to alcohol. We have never been in favour of a complete ban on alcohol. Furthermore, we are not anti-alcohol, but we are unashamedly anti-alcohol harm,” the Alliance’s Maurice Smithers said.
“We have called on the government to impose considered restrictions now to decrease harmful drinking and the associated flouting of Covid-19 protocols,” he said.
“While, as an organisation, we have never been unsympathetic towards job losses in industries that rely on alcohol sales, our priority is to advocate for public health, safety and well-being,” Smithers said.
He said livelihoods were important, but lives even more so – and acting now to restrict hours of trading and social gatherings fuelled by alcohol consumption – where social distancing is not adhered to and masks are not worn – will make a major difference and save lives.
“And it may help to avoid a crisis situation in which the government decides that the only way out is to impose a complete ban on access to alcohol,” Smithers said.