South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to introduce Covid-19 “vaccine passports” on Sunday, amid widespread skepticism about vaccination, before movement restrictions are eased this week.
After sluggish vaccine procurement and Due to a delayed introduction, Africa’s worst hit country is now facing low take-up, especially among men.
In a televised address to the nation, Ramaphosa stressed that an immunized adult population is key to a full Reopening the economy and avoiding a fourth wave of infections.
In two weeks we will “provide more information on an approach to ‘vaccine passports’ that can be used as proof of vaccination for various purposes and events.” “he said without giving further details.
But he added that” a continued decline in infections … in recent weeks “would allow detention measures to be relaxed from Monday.
A night curfew will be shortened, starting at 11 p.m. instead of 10 a.m., and restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be increased.
Restrictions on the sale of alcohol will also be increased relaxed, although face masks remain mandatory in public.
Vaccination has priority
South Africa has passed the climax of a persistent third wave of infections driven by the delta coronavirus variant, Ramaphosa said.
The average number of new infections every day for the past seven days was 29% lower than the previous week, and 48% lower than the week before, he added.
< p> “Our most urgent task is our people vaccinate, “he said, noting that vaccination supplies” are no longer a limitation “.
” If a lot of people are not vaccinated … the chance that new and more dangerous varieties will emerge is much greater “he warned.
Just over seven million people in South Africa have been fully vaccinated to date, with more than a quarter of all adults being given at least one dose.
The country wants 40 Millions of South Africans will be vaccinating – around two thirds of the population – by March next year.
The authorities have recorded more than 2.8 million coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic, of which at least 84,877 were fatal.