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Friday, 06 May 2022 20:08

SA sees surge in Covid-19 infections with 9,253 new cases recorded.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

There has been another increase in South Africa's daily COVID-19 cases with the latest infections reaching 9,253.

This increase represents a 26.6% positivity rate.

Thirty-four deaths have been reported in the latest period under review in the past 48 hours.

While South Africans can use their Covid vaccine certificates to enter buildings, attend events and host gatherings – its validity outside of the country is still limited, says health minister Joe Phaahla.

Responding in a recent parliamentary Q&A, Phaahla noted that this also applies to people travelling to South Africa, with no general international standard accepted for vaccine certificates.

"Countries generally do not provide mechanisms for verification of vaccinations in other countries – other than their trading blocs as in the European Union. It is not possible for South Africa to verify vaccination certificates from other countries," he said.

"The QR codes from most countries are also not readable outside of their own countries. This is for security reasons and to prevent fraud."

As a way to accept other countries' vaccination certificates the Department of International Relations and Cooperation has taken responsibility for the negotiations of reciprocity for the acceptance of Vaccination Certificates through the individual country embassies, Phaahla said.

This will provide for the acceptance of the South African Vaccination Certificates by foreign countries and in return the acceptance of vaccination certificates from foreign countries within South Africa, he said.

"Where individuals are experiencing challenges with regards to entering another country, and the South African Covid- 19 vaccination certificates are questioned, this is being handled through the embassies on a case-by-case basis.

"There are no common international standards for the Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate development or its technology use cases. This is an ever-evolving environment within different countries or regions' specific policies.

This means it is difficult to give a timeframe around when the foreign verification of vaccine passports will be available, he said.