- Police Minister Bheki Cele and Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane launched the SAPS Covid-19 vaccine programme in Soweto on Monday
- The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union welcomed the news, expressing that countless police officers have succumbed to the virus already
- The official vaccine rollout is on 8 July and the department is yet to announce vaccination dates for Metro Police and Correctional Services officers
The Covid-19 vaccination programme for South African Police Services members was launched on Monday morning by Police Minister Bheki Cele and acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
The SAPS plans to vaccinate more than 180,000 employees at 108 sites across the country, according to EWN.
The announcement was met with enthusiasm by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru). Since the pandemic began, over 32 000 SAPS members have tested positive for the coronavirus and currently they are over 1 000 active cases amongst members.
Popcru's Richard Mamabolo explained to EWN that the organisation has welcomed the Department of Health's initiative to vaccinate police officers, stating that 627 police officers have died from Covid-19 to date.
"A lot of senior colleagues have been infected and a lot of senior colleagues have died and they are quite scared of doing their duty because they're working in an unprotected environment," he said in a quote by EWN.
A large number of police officers gathered at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Monday morning to finally receive their Johnson & Johnson vaccine as part of the vaccine rollout programme launch, according to News24. The official launch across the country will be on 8 July.
Speaking at the launch, Cele stated he hopes the vaccine programme will run smoothly across the country and not take too long. He also called on police officers to adhere to the call to get vaccinated.
Health Minister Khubayi-Ngubane said that the vaccine rollout initiative was a milestone and said the Department of Health would soon be announcing dates for Metro Police and Correctional Services officers.
Covid-19 update: South Africa records over 12K new infections, 331 new deaths
Briefly News recently reported that South Africa recorded 12 513 new Covid-19 cases and a further 331 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 62 171.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) reported that the positivity rate of infections is now 31.6%. The total number of recoveries is 1 827 821 with the rate of infections at 88.1%.
NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh stated that Gauteng accounts for 60% of new infections with the Western Cape accounting for 10%, KwaZulu-Natal 6% and Limpopo 7%.
In the last 24 hours, there has been an increase of 566 hospital admissions. A total of 14 365 people have been admitted to both public and private hospitals for Covid-19.
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