IN QUOTES | Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on vaccines, curbing Covid-19 spread during Easter
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on plans to curb a spike in Covid-19 infections during the Easter holiday.
Ntshavheni briefed the media on Thursday on the outcomes of the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.
There has been wide-ranging speculation about a possible return to level 2 lockdown or the reintroduction of stricter regulations to prevent a surge in infections as people are expected to travel and gather in religious settings next week.
The minister said the cabinet also addressed the issues of load-shedding and growing student debt amid protests.
Here are five quotes from the address:
Plan for religious holidays
“The national coronavirus command council is considering the plans on how to manage the Easter holidays. We cannot discuss the advice provided by the ministerial advisory committee. I can’t pre-empt that advice. When the time is right and the decision has been made, the president will convene a family meeting and communicate those decisions.”
“Cabinet is concerned about the growing historical student debt in the higher education system. The department of higher education is collating data on the profiles of students affected by this debt, which will form part of a planned review of the student funding policy to introduce a sustainable funding model for higher education.”
“Every effort is being made to resolve current energy challenges and bring new power generation capacity online in the shortest possible time, which is fundamental to SA’s economic recovery.”
Government on track to meet health worker vaccination target
“I don’t recall health minister minister Zweli Mkhize committing to 1.1 million vaccinations by the end of March. Phase 1 will end on May 17 and we are confident from the work of the department of health that we are on course to meet the target of 1.5 million vaccinations on May 17.”
Johnson & Johnson vaccination trial
“Applications were made to expand the trial to cover the 1.5 million workers for phase 1. If there is a need to top up the vaccines from J&J, we will top up those vaccines. As it stands, the J&J vaccines are being implemented as an expanded trial on health workers. J&J is finalising authorisation by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority for mass vaccination.”