Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) says government has displayed gross incompetence over its handling of the procurement of a vaccine to combat COVID-19.
As the country’s cases surpassed the 1 million mark, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced stricter lockdown measures and said a vaccine will become available only in the second quarter of 2021 through the COVAX facility.
However, he added that government is engaging with various pharmaceutical companies over their vaccine candidates.
COSATU spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says these negotiations are taking place a little too late as the country battles a second wave of infections fuelled by a new variant of the virus.
The video below is about the process of getting the COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa:
Pamla says the least government could have done was to ensure healthcare and essential workers have access to the vaccine by now.
“When we went into a lockdown earlier in 2020 we all understood our health system was going to collapse, they needed to make sure that they are not just ready with health and safety mechanisms and PPE, but also they would have worked with all the suppliers of the vaccine to make sure that at least those people that we expect them to keep the lights on and yet we don’t seem to have a plan. No, it’s gross incompetence, its gross incompetence.”
Cosatu says government’s vaccine roll-out programme does not inspire confidence:
New COVID-19 variant identified by scientists in South Africa:
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