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S.Africa to set up vax sites near voting stations

“We hope that this arrangement will offer convenience in that people will have travelled from their homes and they can achieve both their vote and vaccination in one trip,”

IANS | Johannesburg |

The South African government will set up vaccination sites in the vicinity of at least 1,000 voting stations to inoculate people against Covid-19 during the November 1 local government elections, Minister of Health Joe Phaahla announced on Friday.

The sites will be set up outside the area demarcated strictly for voting so that they don’t interfere with the voting, he said during a virtual briefing on the country’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out.

“We hope that this arrangement will offer convenience in that people will have travelled from their homes and they can achieve both their vote and vaccination in one trip,” Phaahla said.

“We welcome the fact that political parties have no problem with this arrangement.”

The government will partner with the private sector to offer free rides to health workers and to award best performing teams of health workers with food vouchers, Xinhua news agency quoted the Minister as saying.

Phaahla also announced a 26 million rand ($1 million) pilot scheme to reward 260,000 people over the age of 60 who receive their first jab in November.

Each of them will get a 100 rand supermarket voucher.

As of Friday, total hospitalised Covid patients were 3,939, down from 6,173 on the same day last month, while new cases have fallen by 22 per cent over the last seven days, with hospitalization declining by 14.5 per cent in the last seven days and the death rate reducing by 18 per cent, the Minister added.

The country has so far registered a total of 2,921,114 Covid cases and 89,104 deaths.