Tuesday, 24 August 2021 21:34

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

South Africa has recorded 2.708,951 positive cases of Covid-19, with 10, 346 cases recorded since the last report, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division responsible for the surveillance of Covid-19 in the country, announced on Tuesday.

This, according to the institute, represents a 18.6% positivity rate.

"As per the National Department of Health, a further 369 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 79,953 to date.

The institute said that a total of 16.096,581 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

"The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (31%), followed by Western Cape and Eastern Cape which accounted for 20% each. Gauteng Province accounted for 9%; Free State accounted for 7%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; Northern Cape and North West accounted for 3% each; and Limpopo Province accounted for 2% of today’s new cases," reported the institute.

There has been an increase of 493 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given full safety approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in a landmark decision that will allow leading US employers and universities to mandate jabs.

The FDA’s decision brings about the first US government licence of a vaccine against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 which has killed more than 628,500 people in the US since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

With today’s FDA full approvals there’s another good reason to get vaccinated, so please get vaccinated,” said President Joe Biden, urging Americans who have not yet gotten vaccinated to get the jab.

The Pfizer vaccine, previously approved on an emergency basis, has been widely distributed inside the US and is being shipped by the US government to other nations.

"While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated," said Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s acting commissioner.

The decision is for vaccines for people aged 16 and above. The FDA is still reviewing data for those aged between 12 and 15 and has not yet allowed the vaccine for younger children.

Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US," Woodcock said in a statement.

The FDA’s approval is based on updated data from the company’s clinical trial.