President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet this week to discuss a report from the task team set up to explore vaccine mandates.
Ramaphosa was addressing the nation during his weekly newsletter “From the Desk the President”.
During his address to the nation last month Ramaposa said Government had set up a task team which will make recommendations to Cabinet on a fair and sustainable approach to vaccine mandates.
The president said as the country heads into a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, we are experiencing a rate of infections that we have not seen since the pandemic started.
Ramaphosa says the urgent priority is for more people to get vaccinated.
“Scientific evidence shows that vaccination is the most effective means of preventing the spread of new infections, and that vaccines reduce severe illness, hospitalisation and death. South Africa now has sufficient supplies of vaccines and we have vaccine stations set up in every part of the country.”
Ramaphosa says as individuals, we must carefully consider the implications of the risk to ourselves of being unvaccinated and the risk of spreading the infection to our children, parents, relatives, co-workers and those we do not even know.
“The massive surge in infections means that, in addition to vaccination, we need to be far more diligent in reducing our contact with people outside our household. Social distancing is difficult as the festive season approaches, but the evidence shows that gatherings – mainly those held indoors – carry the greatest risk of transmission.”
Ramaphosa says while government does not yet know what impact the Omicron variant will have on hospital admissions, it has been preparing hospitals to admit more patients, and investigating how quickly government can secure medication for treating COVID-19.