The country reported a “grim milestone” with 844 deaths and 20000 new Covid cases reported in 24 hours on Wednesday, sparking fears of stricter lockdown measures as the country battles with an influx of immigrants from neighboring Zimbabwe. The government has announced plans to roll out a vaccine program this month. South Africa is one of the worst-hit African countries, with more than one million cases and 31 368 deaths, as of Wednesday. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced Thursday that the country will receive 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines from the Serum Institute of India. The minister said the first million doses will be arriving this month, with the remainder delivered in February. Priority will be given to South Africa’s more than one million health care workers in both the public and private sector in the first round of inoculations. At the same time, there are heightened fears of a humanitarian crisis at the country’s border with Zimbabwe where hundreds of workers have been blocked following a national lockdown that bans cross-border travel by the Zimbabwean government.
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