By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 12 528 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 447 454. This increase represents a 22.3% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (27%), followed by Gauteng (22%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 18%; Mpumalanga accounted for 8%; Eastern Cape accounted for 7%; North West accounted for 6%; with Free State, Limpopo and Northern Cape each accounting for 4% of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 334 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 72 013 to date.
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.
Meanwhile acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi, said vaccination is expected to pick up momentum such that 400 000 vaccinations will be administered per day by the end of the week.
"By the time we open for people between the ages of 18 and 34 to be vaccinated from the 1st of September 2021, we will be able to respond to the demand that this cohort will generate," the Minister said on Friday.
This week South Africa expected the number of vaccinated people per day to reach the target of 300 000.
"However, due to the constrained vaccine supply this week, the number of vaccinated people per day was around 220 000 which is likely to be the average this week.
"At the present rate of vaccination, we are currently vaccinating one million people in four days. The number of vaccinated people has just surpassed another milestone of seven million," the Minister said.
This week the vaccine supply was constrained, which has negatively affected the rate of vaccination. This as some of the sites ran out of vaccines and people had to be turned away.
"The good news is that we received more vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and more Pfizer vaccines are expected in the coming days."
The Minister has received a Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on vaccine advisory. “This relates to questions being asked about opening up for more vaccine to meet our demand. The advisory focused on Sinovac and AstraZeneca. We will communicate government’s decision in a week’s time.”
South Africa is expecting a delivery of about 10 million Johnson & Johnson doses and about 16 million Pfizer doses this quarter.