• Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Digital COVID-19 Certificate Divides Human Rights Opinionistas

ByLwazi Nongauza

Oct 8, 2021

’The certificate could be used for travel and tourism, sport and recreation events, music festivals, shops that are providing discounts and prizes for people who are vaccinated.

The vaccination certificate was introduced over the last three days while it was in the testing phase but some people have been able to upload it to their cell phones.

We are launching the first phase of the certificate – there’s going to be a lot more improvements in the next two months with regards to the safety and security of the certificate but it is ready for use.”

Those are the words of the South African Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla as he was addressing the media on Friday (the 8th of October) as he was outlining digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate intricacies.

According to Minister Phaahla, South Africans can now download their digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be available to the nation to provide people with the proof of vaccination so they can have access to many of the amenities and activities that some have been missing.

Minister Phaahla’s announcement received mixed public reactions.

Some excited young people who have been calling for the SA government to easy lockdown restrictions congratulated the government for finally launching the digital Covid 19 certificates.

In an exclusive interview with JHR, Alexandra based you admitted not to really understand how will the application process but they were happy with the fact once they have the certificates, they will be able to attend music festivals and football games.

Tshepiso Chabangu (27) told JHR that he is intending to be one of the first recipients of the digital Covid 19 certificates because wants to go to the stadiums.

”I am extremely excited that finally we will be allowed to enjoy things going to the stadiums.

Therefore I will be one of the first people who will get that certificate because I want to watch my favourite team (Kaizer Chiefs) live at the stadiums,” said Chabangu

Kabelo Lekgwati (24) from Alexandra applauded the government for finally announcing the digital Covid 19 certificates breakthrough. According to Lekgwati, the idea of digital Covid 19 certificates will help industries like entertainment to recover.

‘Whoever advised SA government leaders to come up with this digital Covid 19 certificates thing really needs to be celebrated because he or she has helped many creatives to regain their rights to earn a living through their talents.

Seasoned and aspiring artists like myself were seriously badly affected by the lockdown regulations.” said Lekgwati

On the other hand, concerned human rights activists questioned how easy will the digital certificate be available for elderly citizens, the poor and illiterate South Africans who do not know or have access to gadgets like smartphones or computers.

Patricia Mufamadi (64) lambasted the government decision to issue a digital Covid 19 certificate. According to the retired nurse, South Africans proved that they are not ready to deal with anything this complicated.

”I honestly don’t know why SA government officials decided to take a bad and dangerous decision.

We all know that this digital Covid 19 vaccination certificate will actually become a money-making opportunity for the greedy health sector opportunists.

The poor, the old and the uneducated will be left out of this whole thing which will be a gross human rights violation. We know that this is going to happen. So why are we creating a conducive environment for it to happen”

Section 27 of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care services and no one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

Based on the contracting arguments that are advanced by those who are for and against the idea of a digital Covid 19 vaccine certificate, it seems as if the right to have access to health care services is a basic human right is interpreted differently by most South Africa.

It is exactly for that and many reasons that JHR Covid 19 awareness and human rights stories are important. Such stories give South Africans an opportunity to publicly share their views and bring to bear different positions citizens hold on the critical issues such as Covid 19.

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