Minister Zweli Mkhize

South Africa is part of the Public Health Emergency Solidarity Trial under the auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

CAPE TOWN – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has moved to calm fears around South Africa’s participation in trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.

South Africa is part of the Public Health Emergency Solidarity Trial under the auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Several countries will assist in the development and trial of possible vaccines.

Mkhize said that times had changed considerably and concerns around the ethics of taking part in vaccine trials were unfounded.

“All the research work that gets done now is mediated via ethical committees and there’s no way some abuse can be accepted or tolerated.”

The Health Minister told MPs that South Africa had the intellectual capacity and skills to be part of something that helped the entire world as well as adding to the global body of knowledge around COVID-19.

But there’s another important benefit too.

“Those countries that would have been at the forefront of the development of the vaccine through their trials will be the first ones to be able to get access to the vaccine.”

There are currently more than 40 vaccines being developed, four of which are in the initial trial phase.

total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 4 793.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 178 470, of which 9 827 were done in the last 24 hours.

The provincial breakdown is as follows:

GAUTENG 1353
WESTERN CAPE 1737
KWAZULU – NATAL 902
EASTERN CAPE 588
FREE STATE 111
LIMPOPO 31
NORTH WEST 28
MPUMALANGA 26
NORTHERN CAPE 17