December 2, 2021.
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Sashnee Moodley.
Makhura touts mandatory vaccinations
WHO to deploy Covid surge team to Gauteng to support surveillance
And, UN chief slams Covid-19 'travel apartheid' as unacceptable
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that if more people don't have themselves vaccinated voluntarily, mandatory orders could be implemented.
Speaking during an update on the province's Covid-19 situation, the premier lamented the low vaccination turnout.
So far, more than seven-million people in Gauteng are vaccinated. There are over 750 000 people who have still not shown up for their second Pfizer jabs. The West Rand has the highest vaccination rate at 45%.
He said the low vaccination levels were worrying, especially because the province is recording the highest number of new daily Covid-19 cases as the country moves towards a fourth wave of infections.
The World Health Organization has announced that it is deploying a surge team to Gauteng to support Covid-19 surveillance, contact tracing, infection prevention and treatment measures.
In Africa, the Omicron variant has now been detected in Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa. So far, Botswana reported 19 Omicron variant cases and South Africa reported 172. Globally, more than 20 countries have detected the variant to date.
For the seven days leading to November 30, South Africa reported a 311% increase in new cases, compared with the previous seven days.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that travel restrictions imposed over Covid-19 that isolate any one country or region as "not only deeply unfair and punitive - they are ineffective."
He said the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing for travel and economic engagement was to repeatedly test travellers, "together with other appropriate and truly effective measures."
He has long warned about the dangers of vaccine inequality around the world and that low immunization rates are "a breeding ground for variants.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter [@Polity ZA]