South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said his government is seeking to overcome the novel coronavirus by rolling out mass COVID-19 vaccination programs, reported Anadolu Agency.
“In the coming weeks and months, we will begin a mass vaccination program that is expected to significantly reduce infections as it reaches more and more of our people,” Ramaphosa said in an address during the funeral of King Thulare Victor Thulare III of South Africa’s Bapedi kingdom.
The South African president said the government will use every means available to it to save the lives of the people.
He urged people to become more diligent in observing the various health measures, avoiding closed spaces, crowded places, and unnecessary contact with others.
Last week during another event, Ramaphosa also promised that the government would deliver a mass COVID-19 vaccination program that will reach all 60 million South Africans.
The South African president said the business sector has come under stress due to the pandemic, including mines, resulting in job losses. He pledged that the government will also increase efforts to rebuild the country’s economy, restoring the jobs that have been lost and providing support to struggling households. He admitted that the second wave of the pandemic that the country is currently going through is much worse than the initial outbreak.
“Many more people are becoming infected and more people need medical care,” he said. “In many parts of the country, our hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed and our health care workers are under severe strain.”
South Africa has reported the highest number of infections and deaths on the African continent. The country has 1,356,720 confirmed cases and over 38,000 deaths recorded countrywide.
On Tuesday, South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country reported 839 new COVID-19 deaths, its highest daily figure, pushing the total number of confirmed fatalities to 38,288.