Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:49

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 13 672 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 652 652.  This increase represents a 19.9% positivity rate.

The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (29%), followed by Western Cape (27%). Eastern Cape accounted for 11%; Gauteng accounted for 12%; Free State accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; Northern Cape and North West accounted for 4% each; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

NICD said a further 317 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 78 694 to date.

Vaccine Update:

For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.

Meanwhile South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is expected to increase drastically following Cabinet’s approval for the vaccination of people aged between 18 and 35 years from 20 August 2021.

Cabinet said it had received a report from the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) indicating that over nine million vaccines have been administered in South Africa to date, with over seven million people partially vaccinated and over four million fully vaccinated.

"Cabinet welcomed the vaccination roll out plan to increase the uptake of vaccines, particularly in provinces that had shown a reduction in the uptake of vaccines. As part of increasing the vaccination roll-out programme, Cabinet approved the vaccination of persons aged between 18 and 35 years from 20 August 2021,"Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

Cabinet urged people to dispel unfounded and misleading conspiracy theories about the vaccines and choose life by vaccinating.

"Scientific evidence confirms that vaccinated people stand a better chance of surviving from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people. Cabinet encourages all unvaccinated people in South Africa to get vaccinated because vaccines protect us from getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and they save lives."

Cabinet said the process to get vaccinated is easy.

"Simply visit your nearest vaccination site with your identity document to be registered and vaccinated. You can find your closest site from the more than 3 000 vaccination sites across the country at www.sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites."

Cabinet has further approved the keeping of the country under the Risk-Adjusted Alert Level 3 of the national lockdown, as advised by the Ministerial Advisory Committee.