South Africa wants equitable access to coronavirus vaccine, says RamaphosaChristian Fernsby ▼ | September 17, 2020
South Africa is preparing for the time when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available while working to prevent further transmission of the virus, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Through this initiative, South Africa joins other countries in supporting several vaccine development programs and seeking equitable access to successful vaccines at a lower cost, according to the president.
"Through our position as chair of the African Union, we have been advocating for equitable access across the globe so that no country should be left behind," he said.
South Africa is also investing in its own capacity to produce and distribute a vaccine locally so that the country can play a key role in the effort to expand access to vaccines, said Ramaphosa.
South Africa, he said, "is already participating in three vaccine trials, demonstrating the capability of its scientific community."
Although South Africa has made great progress in containing the virus, the country will continue to maintain its healthcare capacity to ensure that it is able to manage any possible outbreaks of infections effectively, and to ensure that everyone receives the care they need, the president said.
"The Department of Health is working closely with trade unions and other stakeholders to ensure that all healthcare and other frontline workers have the necessary personal protective equipment and safe working conditions," he said.
As of Wednesday, the country has recorded 653,444 coronavirus confirmed cases, with 15,705 deaths, according to the Department of Health. ■