May 14, 2021

SUMMARY:SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT FOCUSING ON DEFEATING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

3 min read

The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered State Nation Address #SONA2021 last night 11 February 2021 at 19:00. {President has encouraged south Africans to unite in defeating the coronavirus pandemic which is now turned into a second wave).

President Cyril Ramaphosa last night said that fundamental to our nation’s recovery is an unrelenting and comprehensive response to overcome the coronavirus and South Africa has just emerged from the second wave of infections since COVID-19 arrived on our shores in March last year.

‘Driven by a new variant of the virus, this second wave was more severe and cost many more lives than the first wave. Nevertheless, the human cost could have been far greater. Had we not moved quickly to restrict movement and activity, had we not prepared our health facilities, had South Africans not observed the basic health protocols, the devastation caused by this virus could have been far worse’?

This year, we must do everything in our means to contain and overcome this pandemic. This means intensifying our prevention efforts and strengthening our health system. It also means that we must undertake a massive vaccination programme to save lives and dramatically reduce infections across the population’ President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa further said, ‘Earlier this week, we were informed that one of the vaccines that we had procured, the AstraZeneca vaccine offers minimal protection from mild to moderate infection by the new variant known as 501Y.v2. This is according to early findings of a study by our scientists and researchers.

The President applauded ‘All the scientists for leading this research and providing new evidence that is vital for guiding our response. V11 6 Since this variant is now the dominant variant in our country, these findings have significant implications for the pace, design, and sequencing of our vaccine programme. While it should not delay the start of the vaccination programme by much, it will affect the choice of vaccines and the manner of their deployment’.

‘The first phase of our vaccination programme, which is targeted at health and other frontline workers, will now use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has been shown to be effective against the 501Y.V2 variant. We have secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The first batch of 80,000 doses, will arrive in the country next week.

 Further consignments will arrive over the next four weeks, totalling 500,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines. All provinces have roll-out planned in place as the first vaccines come through’, Ramaphosa said.

‘We have secured 12 million vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility. This will be complemented by other vaccines that are available to South Africa through the AU’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team facility as well.  Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries at the end of the first quarter. V11 7 We are continuing our engagements with all the vaccine manufacturers to ensure that we secure enough vaccines that are suitable to our conditions. The health and safety of our people remains our paramount concern’, He said.

He adds that all medication imported into the country is monitored, evaluated, investigated, inspected, and registered by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.

He further adds that the success of the vaccination programme will rely on active collaboration between all sectors of society and they are greatly encouraged by the active involvement of business, labour, the health industry, and medical schemes in preparing for this mass vaccination drive.

HEIA FM NEWS.

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