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It “goes without saying”, health department director-general Dr Sandile Buthelezi said on Tuesday night, that the placing on special leave of health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize meant “these are difficult times we find ourselves in”.

Buthelezi released a statement on Monday night, hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa removed Mkhize from office over the R150m Digital Vibes contract scandal.

This latest development would not deter health officials, promised Buthelezi.

“As director-general, I wish to reassure the nation that we remain committed and capable of managing the Covid-19 pandemic, executing a ramped up vaccination programme and running the national programmes, as we are led by the acting minister of health, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane,” said Buthelezi.

On the vaccine front, said Buthelezi, there was a significant milestone hit on Tuesday.

“Our sprits were lifted today when we learnt that we have officially vaccinated over 1 million senior citizens aged 60 years and above under phase two. We must convey our appreciation to the senior citizens who have, and continue, to come forward in their numbers to be vaccinated.

“We also thank all those who are responsible for the administration of the rollout for their grit and determination as we continue to ramp up the campaign.

“There are a number of developments on the vaccination front which we will communicate in a public webinar this week, on a date to be confirmed,” he said.

This announcement comes as the health ministry reported that there were 4,209 new Covid-19 cases recorded in the past 24 hours, and 120 Covid-19 related deaths.

There are currently 59,860 “active cases” across SA.


Article written by: Sowetan Live

Photo credit: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times


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