By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 13 025 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 435 036. This increase represents a 23.4% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (27%), followed by Gauteng (24%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 15%; Mpumalanga accounted for 7%; Eastern Cape and North West each accounted for 6%; Limpopo accounted for 5%; with Free State and Northern Cape each accounting for 4% of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 248 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 71 679 to date.
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.
Meanwhile President Cyril Ramaphosa, who visited two COVID-19 vaccination centres in Gauteng on Thursday, says South Africa is banking on mass vaccination sites to reach as many people as possible.
He said he was pleased the province was opening drive-through vaccine sites, where more people can be inoculated.
"The objective of coming here was to encourage South Africans to come forward and be vaccinated. We want as many of the age groups that are eligible to come through and be vaccinated," he said on Thursday.
The President said these cohorts must register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and get an appointment or they can walk in at the centre nearest to them.
The First Citizen visited a public health facility in Tembisa and a private-public partnership centre at Gallagher Estate.
He said the Gallagher Estate centre can take up to 4 000 people a day, while the waiting period is no more than 30 minutes. It is also open on weekends.
"It’s been a good day in the office to come visit Tembisa and Gallagher Estate as well."
He was pleased the vaccination numbers were increasing, as the country reached the milestone of over seven million administered vaccines on Wednesday.
The President told journalists that acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has promised him that the Department of Health will meet the target of 300 000 administered shots per day and even exceed it.
"We’re in full steam when it comes to vaccinations. I think we’re doing well and we now have a good surplus of vaccines."
Ramaphosa added that great work is being done in Gauteng and other areas.
In addition, he said Gauteng will now look to set up mobile sites that will go where the people are.
"One of the complaints is a number of our people have to spend money to travel to the vaccination centres and I’ve said that I want the vaccination points and centres to go to our people," he added.
"We’re all learning. This is a new process for all of us. This is the biggest campaign we’ve had in the history of this country, to vaccinate so many people at one go."