IRMSA welcomes call to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine administration, says CEO Pat Semenya

Pat Semenya explains that to save lives and the economy, we must pick up the pace of vaccination.

The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s renewed call to accelerate the administration of the Covid-19 vaccines and the establishment of a task team to look at mandatory vaccinations.

IRMSA CEO Pat Semenya says that the laudable discovery by South African scientists of a new variant, coupled with the impending arrival of a fourth Covid-19 wave in December, has heightened South Africa’s risk climate considerably. “In order to save lives and to respond to the impact of further strict lockdown on the economy we must pick up the pace of vaccine dispensing.”

She explains that, while IRMSA acknowledges that mandatory vaccination can be a controversial and even divisive issue, any recommendations made by the task team need to be studied and carefully considered.

Pat adds that the pending arrival of a fourth wave of the pandemic is of equal concern and companies need to, once again, reevaluate their risk planning. This means reinforcing internal health protocols at the workplace and checking for weak points in supply chains. “We still have weeks of work and productivity ahead of us before we break for the Christmas period. IRMSA acknowledges that people are exhausted after a difficult and tumultuous year, but dropping one’s guard now could have catastrophic consequences for lives and the economy.”

She also urges responsible distribution of information regarding the new variant, saying media reports from abroad, suggesting South Africa was the source of the new strain, were irresponsible and unhelpful.

“IRMSA is also concerned about the potential negative impact on the business and leisure and tourism and hospitality sector, during our traditional high season. It’s only by observing current Lockdown Level 1 regulations will the country be able to manage the risk.”