South Africa to receive second batch of Covid-19 vaccines as death toll nears 50,000
London, Feb. 24, 2021 (AltAfrica)-South Africa t is expected to take delivery of its second batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine by the weekend.
Speaking during a debate on the government’s roll-out plan, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the batch – consisting of 80 000 doses – will arrive on Saturday
We announced in parliament today that the next batch of 80,000 doses of Johnson&Johnson vaccines will arrive this Saturday, 27 February 2021.— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) February 23, 2021
Read the latest on SA's COVID vaccine rollout here:https://t.co/H4n8kYrzAo
The arrival of the second batch of the vaccine is expected to speed up vaccination against an epidemic with the country’s death toll inching towards the 50 000 mark
Tuesday’s figures from the National Department of Health revealed that 49 413 people had so far succumbed to the virus. According to the department, 263 Covid-19 related deaths were reported on Tuesday – up from the previous day’s total of 97 deaths.
As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 505 586 the total number of deaths is 49 413, the total number of recoveries is 1 419 459 and the total number of vaccines administered is 32 315. pic.twitter.com/KqY3zJDnMw— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) February 23, 2021
But Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said as part of efforts to stem the ugly tide of covid deaths, the country had joined more than 87 other countries in the fight against the pandemic.
“Our programme is rapidly gaining momentum. We have now vaccinated 23 059 people as of yesterday. We are on course to reach 40 000 by this Wednesday,” Mkhize said.
In his address, Mkhize said 54 685 health-care workers have contracted Covid-19 in the public sector and 779 have since passed on.
“They have borne the brunt of the psychosocial distress of this pandemic by having to fulfil many roles for patients who have been in isolation in their facilities. For them, vaccination represents hope of relief from the unrelenting pressures of this pandemic,” he said.
Mkhize further revealed that SA is selling its doses of the AstraZeneca stock to the African Union, in order to combat wasteful expenditure.
“We have learnt from the AU that these will be distributed to about 20 countries in the continent, who will be in a position to begin protecting their front-line health-care workers. This is a win-win situation. We have further proposed that J&J be preferentially deployed to the southern regions of Africa, so that we can rapidly deal with the variant that is predominant in South Africa and some parts of SADC,” Mkhize said.