South Africa mulls compulsory COVID-19 jabs

South Africa mulling compulsory COVID-19 jabs for some places, activities

South Africa, Omicron

11/29/2021 3:00:00 AM

South Africa mulling compulsory COVID-19 jabs for some places, activities

South Africa n President Cyril Ramaphosa said authorities were considering making COVID-19 shots compulsory for certain places and activities.

* Ramaphosa said country could soon enter fourth wave* Omicron variant responsible for rise in infections, he said* Slams rich countries for imposing travel ban, urges to reverse JOHANNESBURG - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that authorities were considering making COVID-19 shots compulsory for certain places and activities, as a rise in infections linked to a new variant threatens to become a fourth wave.

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Only a quarter of South Africans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a sufficient supply of doses, owing partly to logistical problems getting them out to rural areas, but also to vaccine hesitancy and apathy among the population.Kenya's government last week issued a directive that residents must show proof of vaccination by Dec. 21 to access services, making it one of the first countries in Africa to issue a vaccine mandate.

"We have ... been undertaking engagements with social partners and other stakeholders on introducing measures that make vaccination a condition for access to workplaces, public events, public transport and public establishments," Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation. headtopics.com

If the country does not consider the option of a vaccine mandate, it will "continue to be vulnerable to new variants and will continue to suffer new waves of infection", he said, adding that vulnerable people might also be offered booster shots.

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But he said authorities would not be considering lockdown restrictions in Africa's most industrialized country for the time being.Separately, Zambia's health minister Sylvia Maseko said the southern African nation would require public servants to be vaccinated to come to work, and that anyone seeking access to a government building will need to prove they have had the jab.

TRAVEL BANSouth Africa has seen a near-tripling of daily reported cases in the past week, mainly of the new Omicron variant first identified by South African virologists."If cases continue to climb, we can expect to enter a fourth wave of infections within the next few weeks, if not sooner," Ramaphosa warned.

Scientists have so far detected relatively few cases of the Omicron variant, mainly in South Africa but also in Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. But they are worried by its high number of mutations, which have raised concerns that it could be more vaccine-resistant and transmissible. headtopics.com

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A doctor who was amongst the first in the country to flag the possibility of a new variant said on Sunday however that its symptoms so far appeared to be mild and treatable at home.South African officials are furious about a British ban on flights from southern African countries, which several other countries have copied. Many South Africans feel they are being punished for their transparency and hard work in keeping tabs on the way the virus is mutating.

In Sunday's address, the president slammed rich Western countries for their knee-jerk imposition of travel bans and urged them to reverse the actions."This is a clear and completely unjustified departure from the commitment that many of these countries made at the meeting of G20 countries in Rome last month," Ramaphosa said.

"The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant." (Additional reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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Dutch find 61 COVID cases among South Africa passengers, looking for new variantICYMI: Dutch health authorities said they had detected 61 COVID-19 cases among people who flew from South Africa on Friday and were now conducting further testing to see whether any are infected with the recently discovered Omicron variant.

South Africa mulls compulsory COVID-19 jabs South Africa n President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that authorities were considering making COVID19 shots compulsory for certain places and activities, as a rise in infections linked to a new variant threatens to become a fourth wave.

61 travelers from S. Africa to Netherlands positive for COVIDAbout 600 passengers arrived at Schiphol Airport on 2 KLM flights Friday, then faced hours of delays and testing due to concerns over the new variant.

Dutch find 61 COVID positive on 'dystopia' flights from S.AfricaDutch health authorities said Saturday that 61 passengers aboard two KLM flights from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 and the results were being examined for the new Omicron variant

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