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Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:42

Covid-19 Daily Update: SA records 414 new cases with 25 related deaths.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 414 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,916,593. This increase represents a 1.8% positivity rate. 

The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (22%), followed by Gauteng accounting for 21%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 16%; Free State accounted for 13%; Northern Cape accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape accounted for 7%; North West accounted for 5%; Mpumalanga accounted for 3%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

NICD said a further 25 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 88,612 to date.

South Africa continues to see a decline in COVID-19 infections, with new cases dropping by 28% in the past seven days.

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced that hospitalisations fell by 35%, although over 5 000 COVID-19 patients are still receiving treatment as of Thursday.

In addition, the positivity rate is in the right direction with a seven-day average of 2.7%.  

"We emphasise seven days averages because it’s more reliable than looking at the daily fluctuations," he explained, adding that reported deaths are also down by 16%.

"It is good although we would prefer zero death."

The latest data shows that the number of new cases increased by 733 on Friday to a total of 2,915,560, while 56 more people lost their battle COVID-19. 

According to Phaahla, it will take some time to see much lower numbers of deaths, as some patients are still admitted. 

However, he predicted that there would be fewer admissions going forward.

Phaahla told the media on Friday that the inoculation programme remains stable having kept the momentum of the previous week after the three-day Vooma Vaccination Weekend held at the beginning of this month. 

The data shows that the total of daily-administered doses has around 200 000 with some days just below that as was the case on Wednesday.

The country distributed 215 438 vaccines in the past 24 hours, pushing the total shy of 20 million at 19 899 964 million so far.

Meanwhile,individuals with at least one jab have reached over 13.8 million, which is 34.6% of all adults.

"So, we’re getting closer to 35% which will be half of the 70% we are targeting."

In addition, the Western Cape is leading the pack after crossing the 40% mark at 43%, while the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Free State are sitting at over 39%.

He believes that three provinces will surpass the 40% by Monday next week.

Gauteng is "pulling fairly well" with over 3.5 million jabbed. "But due to large population, that constitutes only 31.7% of the adult population," he explained.

He raised concerns about Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, which are on the bottom half and said his department will continue to support the provinces.

He expressed his satisfaction with the enthusiasm with which South Africans have embraced the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.