'Shifting blame' or speaking out? SA reacts to Ramaphosa telling rich countries to stop 'hoarding' vaccine

27 January 2021 - 13:20 By unathi nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday urged wealthy countries to stop hoarding excess Covid-19 vaccines. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday urged wealthy countries to stop hoarding excess Covid-19 vaccines. File photo.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa topped social media's trending list on Tuesday after telling rich countries to stop hoarding Covid-19 vaccines.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Ramaphosa told wealthy countries to share the vaccine with developing nations.

“We need those who have hoarded the vaccines to release the vaccines so that other countries can have them,” said Ramphosa.

“The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines. Some even acquired up to four times what their population needs ... to the exclusion of other countries.”

Ramaphosa, who chairs the AU, said African countries wanted access to vaccines as quickly as other nations.

“We are all not safe if some countries are vaccinating their people and other countries are not vaccinating. We all must act together in combating the coronavirus,” he said .

SA's Covid outbreak is the worst in Africa, with 1,423,578 confirmed cases and 41,797 deaths.

The new Covid-19 variant, 501Y.V2, was recently found to be 50% more infectious than the original virus and it has been detected in at least 20 countries. The variant was first detected in the Eastern Cape.

On social media, Ramaphosa's plea to rich countries drew mixed reactions.

Some agreed with the president's comments, while others said rich countries were not hoarding vaccines but rather protecting themselves from future outbreaks.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:


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