Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the pace of vaccination against Covid-19 virus would be determined by the availability of vaccines.
Speaking during a media briefing on measures to ensure compliance with the regulations in the wake of the third wave, Ntshavheni said the government has done its part to make sure it paid for all vaccines.
“There is an impression that the government has not procured and paid for vaccines.”
She insisted that the government has paid for vaccines and that it was access to the vaccines that limited the ability to move faster.
However, Ntshavheni stated that the government has ramped up the capacity of the Health Department, including the private sector.
“We sit at 100 000 per day. We can ramp up to 300 000 to improve the pace and speed,” she said about the roll-out.
The acting minister said work was ongoing with regards the partnerships that were announced for the manufacturing of the vaccine in the country.
“Our best effort is compliance with regulations, compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures – keeping a safe distance, wearing masks in public, sanitising our hands and avoiding public places where it is necessary,” she said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said he welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the vaccination roll-out for the police would start on July 5.
“We are satisfied that inoculation of over 180 000 members and staff will go ahead as planned. Sadly, Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 666 police officers,” he said.
Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said work was under way to finalise the date for vaccination of soldiers and prison warders.
She said in terms of the processes, they should start with soldiers next week and that they hoped by the end of the week to have an indication for the start date for prison warders.
Cele said that while gearing up for vaccination of the police, they knew that it would not be business as usual as they operate under the adjusted alert level 4.
“Breaking the chain of transmission of person-to-person contact remains the priority of the government if we are to flatten the curve. We are aware this approach will take adherence to the lockdown.”
He said that law enforcement agencies would play a critical role in ensuring mass compliance.
“Security forces will have their work cut out for themselves. I, however, want to assure the country that while law enforcement agencies are up to the task, their aim is not to arrest and criminalise people en masse.
“As a country, we are all wiser to the effects of this deadly virus. We know the pain and destruction Covid-19 continue to cause for us as a nation.”
Cele said he was confident that there will be more compliance with the regulations set out to save lives than before.
“Those who choose to drop the ball and choose to transgress must know that the police will be left with no choice but to act,” he added.