PRETORIA – The Gauteng department of health has condemned “with the utmost contempt” the latest robbery of its Tshwane health district vaccination teams. The repeated robberies were compromising the Covid-19 vaccination drive.
Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the latest robbery happened on Friday.
“The continued attacks on mobile vaccination teams, who are taking the vaccine programme to the community are not only putting the lives of health-care workers in danger, but they have negative impact on the vaccination programme,” Kekana said.
“In yet another incident, our partner Pulse Health team which is supporting Soshanguve Block JJ vaccination team was robbed at gun point on Friday by a group of five men at a pop-up vaccination site next to Rivoningo Primary School in Soshanguve around 1.30pm.”
The incident happened as the vaccination team was busy at the pop-up vaccination site.
Kekana said the perpetrators fled the scene with vaccination programme gadgets comprising two tablets and five cellphones belonging to the team.
“The matter was reported at Rietgat police station, where a case was opened. Fortunately, none of the team members were harmed and counselling will be provided to the affected staff,” she said.
In December, another mobile vaccination team was also robbed at gunpoint at a pop-up vaccination site in Wonder City Taxi Rank in Soshanguve.
“Members of the community need to rise in defence of the vaccination teams as the situation is getting out of hand. All these incidents are happening at the times when the government is trying to increase vaccine access by taking the vaccination programme closer to the people,” Kekana said.
“We call on all members of society to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that these perpetrators are brought to book.”