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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa— President. Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that the nation will introduce COVID-19 vaccine passports amid continuing reservations about vaccination among its citizens, as the country plans to ease restrictions on movement. 

Africa continues to struggle with regard to low take-up on vaccination, particularly among men. including slow inoculation and delayed roll outs.

Ramaphosa again stressed that “an immunized adult population was key to fully reopening the economy and avoiding a fourth infection wave.”

He said that in two weeks the government will provide more information about the vaccine passports, which can be used as a proof of vaccination for different purposes.

He also mentioned that the sustained decline of infections since last week would provide permission to gradually ease measures from Monday. 

Curfew will be shortened to 11 p.m. instead of the previous 10 p.m., while limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be increased. The sale of alcohol will be relaxed although the wearing of face masks are still required. 

To date, seven million people in South Africa have already been fully vaccinated, with more than a quarter of African adults have at least one dose already. The nation aims to vaccinate 40 million South Africans by March next year. 

According to the authorities, the nation has recorded a more than 2.8 million cases since the pandemic began with at least 84,877 listed as fatal. 

Until now, scientists are still keeping a keen eye on a new homegrown variant C.1.2., as its frequency remains low. 

(PHOTO CREDIT: reuters.com)

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