Phase two vaccinations in South Africa kicked off on Monday 17 May, and according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, went reasonably well. He did, however, add that it was not without its own challenges.
LOAD SHEDDING AND VIOLENT PROTESTS WERE THE ‘MOST IMPACTFUL’ – MKHIZE
Mkhize said there were certain challenges but load shedding and violent protests in the Free State province happened to be the most impactful.
“Phase two vaccination rollout proceeded reasonably well today, notwithstanding some challenges experienced in the respective provinces, of which load shedding and violent protests in the Free State were the most impactful,” he said in a statement on Monday evening.
While load shedding made a return this week, Eskom did decide very early on Tuesday morning to suspend the power cuts…but not so fast….only for a few hours.
“Over the past 24 hours, Eskom teams have returned seven generation units to service. This has helped ease the supply constraints, and enabled Eskom to suspend load shedding at this point,” said spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
“However, this is currently insufficient to fully supply the evening peak. Stage 2 load shedding will therefore again be implemented from 17:00 until 22:00 tonight,” he added.
PHASE TWO VACCINATIONS: HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE GIVEN THE JAB?
Mkhize said that while most of the sites were able to proceed, a large number of vaccinations were captured on paper and the numbers are still being added.
“In addition, the numbers vaccinated at old age homes still need to be captured. We will, therefore, allow for this reconciliation over the course of the next 24 hours and will announce the numbers vaccinated in phase two as from tomorrow [Tuesday]. In due course, we will launch a public-facing dashboard that will publish the numbers near real-time,” said Mkhize.
“A number of sector leaders aged 60 years and above came forward to be vaccinated publicly. We express our heartfelt gratitude for their patriotism and leadership as we know that this will assist us to build confidence in the vaccines and in the vaccination process,” he said.
“We continue to encourage health care workers, including traditional healers, and citizens 60 years and above to register and attend when they have been invited,” he added.
COVID-19 STATISTICS IN SA AS OF MONDAY 17 MAY
On Monday 17 May, the National Health Department said it had identified 1 757 new COVID-19 cases.A total of 50 new deaths had been recorded and the cumulative number of recoveries now stands at 1 526 638, representing a recovery rate of 94.5%.
In terms of active cases, each province is different. There are currently 331 active cases in the Eastern Cape, 5 811 in the Free State, 7 679 in Gauteng, 4 724 in KwaZulu-Natal, 360 in Limpopo, 1 056 in Mpumalanga, 4 908 in the North West, 6 159 in the Northern Cape and 2 559 in the Western Cape.
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