By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 13,251 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,722,202. This increase represents a 20% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (27%), followed by Western Cape (25%). Eastern Cape accounted for 13%; Gauteng Province accounted for 10%; Free State accounted for 7%; Mpumalanga and Northern Cape accounted for 5% each; North West accounted for 4%; and Limpopo Province accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 516 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 80 469 to date.
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.
Meanwhile in an effort to expand the COVID-19 vaccination drive and reach as many eligible persons as possible, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will open a vaccination site at the SABC’s Auckland Park Campus.
The pop-up vaccination site, which will be unveiled on Thursday morning, will offer both walk-ins and drive through services. This initiative comes as the vaccination for people aged between 18 and 34 opened last Friday.
"The Auckland Park campus is a convenient location for most students enrolled in various higher education institutions within the vicinity. The vaccination site will also accommodate SABC staff members, service providers including security and cleaning personnel as well as the public," a joint statement by the Gauteng Provincial Government and the SABC said on Wednesday.
The pop-up site will operate from Thursday to Saturday 26-28 August from 8am until 4pm at the Radio Park open parking through entrance 4.
Gauteng Provincial Government acting Director-General Thabo Masebe said the provincial government has sought to forge relations across sectors to ensure that the vaccination programme reaches every corner of the province.
"Part of our strategy to ramp up the vaccination drive is to work closely with all institutions that are able to help government expand its reach. The SABC as a public broadcaster though its multiple platforms offers an opportunity to ensure that we empower communities with messages that help them to appreciate the importance of vaccines and that through vaccination, we are able to minimize severe illness and hospitilisation," Masebe said.
SABC Group Chief Executive Officer Madoda Mxakwe said the public broadcaster has committed its resources to ensure that South Africans have one more added facility.
"This is one of the great partnerships we have entered into with the Gauteng Provincial Government as we have a collective responsibility to fight COVID-19. It is our wish that through this partnership this service will be extended to other SABC offices," Mxakwe said.
All persons who are 18 years and older have been encouraged to visit the SABC pop-up site or their nearest vaccination site to get vaccinated. The vaccination teams will assist with registering people on the spot.
As of 24 August, the Gauteng province has administered over 2.8 million vaccines with over 1.195 million people now fully vaccinated.