The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Gauteng today called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to speed up the process of procuring Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines , as the country experiences a rapid rise in new infections and deaths.

“Sanco calls on the president to have a warp speed process as it relates to the distribution of the vaccine and the procurement thereof.

“Sanco officially calls for the National Coronavirus Command Council to make recommendations to the president, that doses from China and Russia be procured with immediate effect,” Sanco Gauteng chairman Chris Malematja said.

“This must be done at warp speed to protect lives and livelihoods.”

Yesterday, South Africa reported 11 093 new Covid-19 cases, with Gauteng accounting for the lion’s share at 67% of the tally, while the Western Cape was a distant second with 8%, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Gauteng recorded 7 471 new cases compared with 6 292 on Monday.

The country reported 297 Covid-19-related deaths yesterday, a major spike from 93 on Monday, taking the national death toll from the virus to 59 092 to date.

Sanco called for a stricter lockdown to be implemented in Gauteng.

“With the understanding that lives and livelihoods (are both) to be defended, it is the view of (Sanco) that the province is taken back to level 5 for a period not exceeding 14 days. As drastic as this may be, this may be one of the only remedies, outside of the vaccine, to ensure that national regulations are adhered to by the general populace,” Malematja said.

During the 14 days of strict lockdown in Gauteng, schools must be closed and interprovincial travel must be put on hold, Sanco said.

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