The South African cabinet has welcomed the significant drop in coronavirus infections over the past few weeks and encouraged all eligible people to continue vaccinating to stop serious illness, hospitalisation and death.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said half of all adult citizens have to date received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.
“Government aims to use the low-interest loan recently approved by the World Bank to purchase additional Covid-19 vaccine doses and ensure that the nation is adequately protected against potential infections,” Gungubele said.
The minister said cabinet had also considered matters related to developments on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly with the progress being made towards a full return to normal socio-economic activities.
Gungubele spoke days after South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla announced on Wednesday the removal of Covid-19 regulations such as the wearing of face masks in public and limits on numbers of people allowed at gatherings.
The relaxation of regulations means that South Africans are no longer required to wear face masks in indoor venues or on public transport, while the total number of people allowed at public gatherings is no longer limited to a maximum of 50 percent of an indoor venue’s capacity.
Another regulation removed this week was one where persons entering South Africa were supposed to have been vaccinated or to produce valid certificates of negative PCR Covid-19 tests not older than 72 hours before the date of departure.