Business urges vaccine mandates to step up coverage ahead of fourth wave

Business urges vaccine mandates to step up coverage ahead of fourth wave

2021-11-30 04:30:00 AM

Business urges vaccine mandates to step up coverage ahead of fourth wave

Nedlac will hold emergency meetings to discuss how to increase workplace shots and restrict access to public places

Tamar KahnPicture: 123RF/smcbukiSA must urgently accelerate its Covid-19 vaccination rate with compulsory workplace jabs and restricted access to public places as it enters its fourth wave of infections, Business for SA (B4SA) said on Monday.While case numbers and hospital admissions are low at present, they are rising at an exponential rate in Gauteng, where scientists last week identified a new variant, dubbed Omicron. The emergence of Omicron has coincided with a sharp rise in reported cases and hospital admissions in the province in the past fortnight and the national test positivity rate has almost tripled to 9.8% in the space of a week.

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“Science tells us the best weapon we have against this virus is to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” said Cas Coovadia, Business Unity SA CEO and co-convener of B4SA.Warning that the government has “no more fuel in the tank” to support struggling enterprises if lockdown restrictions are tightened in response to surging cases, B4SA chair Martin Kingston said higher vaccination coverage is essential for reducing the impact of the pandemic.

Emergency meetings are planned this week at Nedlac to discuss the details of how to step up mandatory workplace vaccination and restrict access to public places such as religious institutions and public transport only to people who have been immunised, he said.

Slightly more than a third (36%) of adults and 25% of the total population are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and demand for shots has flagged in recent weeks.The current vaccination rate is totally inadequate, said Kingston. “It adds fuel to the fire, both literally and metaphorically, in terms of a fourth wave.”

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Omicron has been categorised as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) because it has dozens of mutations, some of which have been associated with increased transmissibility and reduced vaccine efficacy in earlier strains.SA’s announcement last week of the detection of the variant triggered global panic, prompting governments to impose travel restrictions on SA and other Southern African nations, and sending travel, tourism and leisure stocks tumbling.

Read more: Business Day »

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Government mulls over compulsory vaccinationSA will remain on alert level one lockdown while government discusses the possibility of vaccine mandates to access certain activities. Try us We will bring down every business, hospital, transportation asking for passports. Take a decision now. Don't bloody mull Government’s not mulling, the task team is formulating our vaccine mandates for implementation in December (next week) Our mandates will look like these… Go get vaxxed this week while the queues are short

B4SA encourages employers to mandate vaccinesMartin Kingston from Business for South Africa says the push for mandatory vaccinations will encourage people to get the jab. For which variant? F*** your vaccine. We will not comply What if all employees said no,,,so the business will go down just like that..

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Scientists debate changing Covid-19 rules to allow for self-testingThose who favour wider access to self-testing believe it will give people an extra tool for tackling the pandemic as SA enters fourth wave Make covid testing free. The majority of South Africans are poor how can they afford +/-R1800 for a test. Ridiculous

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