Cape Town - As the provincial Health Department gears up to reach 1million vaccinations administered, Covid-19 anti-vaccination and anti-maskers, gathered in protest at the weekend.
Around 200 maskless people protested at Sea Point Boulevard on Saturday, waving placards depicting anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown and conspiracy theories related to the pandemic.
The protest was part of a global “World Wide Demonstration” for “freedom and human rights”, according to an associated Facebook post.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said the protest was peaceful and monitored by the police.
Law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason confirmed their presence at the protest, and said no issues arose.
However, those who gathered were not compliant with lockdown regulations, as protesters were seen in close proximity, refraining from mask wearing and physical distancing.
On why this was allowed to continue, Dyason said, “The SAPS was on scene and handled the dialogue with the marchers.”
Local ward councillor Nicola Jowell confirmed the protest was part of a world wide protest taking place on July 24.
“I believe in protest against vaccines, lockdown and wearing masks. I am not sure who the local organisers were,” said Jowell.
Meanwhile, the provincial Health Department said it would soon be making headway with the provincial vaccine roll-out, as it gets ready to reach 1 million vaccinations administered early next week, thanks to the steady supply of vaccines.
Now in its ninth week, the weekly target of 150 000 vaccinations has been exceeded for a second week in a row, the department said.
Last week, as at Friday, 158 539 vaccinations were administered as part of the national programme, bringing the total number of people in the province having received at least one dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for health workers and educators to 960 594.
The Western Cape Government Covid-19 Dashboard indicated that the province reported 34 336 active cases of the virus, as at 1pm on Sunday.
Around 385 672 cases have been reported with 336 681 recoveries. To date, 14 655 people have succumbed to the virus. Around 4 358 Covid-19 reinfections have been reported in the province.
Meanwhile, the vaccine roll-out for the Social Development sector in the Western Cape has been extended by the National Department of Social Development, to Friday July 30. This includes the Early Childhood Development (ECD) workforce and social service professionals.
The roll-out commenced last Thursday. Those eligible for vaccinations within this sector are able to walk-in at their designated vaccination site and should bring along their identity documents, confirmation of employment at an ECD, or proof of professional registration.
Around 10 000 ECD workers in the province have been loaded on to the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), by the National Department of Health. Seventeen vaccination sites around the province have been made available for this process.