By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 12 371 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 523 488. This increase represents a 21.6% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (30%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21%); Gauteng accounted for 16%; Eastern Cape accounted for 9%; Mpumalanga accounted for 7%; North West & Free State each accounted for 5% respectively, and Limpopo & Northern Cape each accounted for 3% respectively of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 271 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 74 623 to date.
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.
Meanwhile the first monthly shipment of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines secured by the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust for AU member states will start arriving on Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced.
"By working together and by pooling resources, African countries have been able to secure millions of vaccine doses produced right here in Africa," Ramaphosa said in a statement, in his capacity as the AU’s Covid-19 Champion.
"This will provide impetus to the fight against Covid-19 across the continent and will lay the basis for Africa’s social and economic recovery."
Ramaphosa, who has been fighting for the equal access to vaccines, said this was a momentous step forward in Africa’s efforts to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its people.
The AU said the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust signed an agreement for the purchase of 220-million single doses of J&J vaccines on March 28, with the potential to order an additional 180-million doses.