South Africans have made their mixed feelings on the Covid-19 vaccine clear in recent days, but the government says no one will be forced to take the dose. Briefly.co.za explores the latest Covid-19 updates on the pandemic in South Africa.
Recent surveys have proven that South African citizens are far from trusting the Covid-19 vaccine as the world rushes to find a solution to the global crisis.
As the nation prepares to receive the first batch of vaccines the government has assured citizens that no one will be forced to take the shot.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic below:
1. Mkhize on the vaccine: No one will be forced
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has assured the nation that no one in the country will be forced to take the Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, the Minister said that the effort to secure vaccines is for the common good but that no force would be involved:
"The vaccine will be voluntary. We will try and urge as many people to take the vaccine. It is not mandatory, but we need for the community to understand that it is for their benefit and that is why they need to participate at that level."
Mkhize explained that issues surrounding moral, ethical or religious concerns will be dealt with as they arise.
2. Mkhize on latest statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has updated South Africans on the latest Covid-19 statistics amid the pandemic.
In a statement released on Thursday, Mkhize confirmed another steep spike in infections:
"As of today, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 170 590 with 20 999 new cases identified since the last report."
In addition to the new cases, the Minister confirmed the latest fatalities in the country:
"Regrettably, we report 441 new COVID-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 70, Free State 23, Gauteng 75, Kwa-Zulu Natal 132, Limpopo 11, Mpumalanga 7, Northern Cape 4 and Western Cape 119 which brings the total to 31 809 deaths."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that the nation will be receiving one million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India during the course of this month.
Mkhize revealed this in his closing comments during a briefing to Parliament's Health Portfolio Committee on Thursday afternoon:
"We will be receiving the first one million doses of vaccine in January and another 500 000 in February from the Serum Institute of India. As recently as Wednesday, our teams at the Department of Health and the South African Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority were finetuning and aligning all the regulations, processes to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays or regulatory impediments to activate this rollout."
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