Nzimande reveals series of COVID-19 initiatives

Nzimande reveals series of COVID-19 initiatives

Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has revealed a series of initiatives - which he says will support the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis.  

Blade Nzimande

Speaking at the National COVID-19 Conference on Friday he explained the projects - which he said would aid biomanufacturing, development of personal protective equipment and good hygiene practice.

He says there's also a plan to also expand testing for the novel coronavirus - which will include the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.

"In partnership with Centre of AIDS Programme for Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the Africa Health Research Institute, have validated the quantitative polymerase chain reaction and sequencing protocols from two manufacturers for COVID-19 testing."

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He says a COVID-19 vaccine production team has been set up.

"Our fifth initiative is our coordinating efforts for a local COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant"

"The aim is to get South Africa into a state of readiness to manufacture an approved COVID-19 vaccine locally.

"In anticipation of the huge demand should a candidate vaccine be identified, manufacturing facilities will need to be established in different regions, and the SADC and Africa will also need to be ready."

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