Tuesday, 07 December 2021 19:56

Covid-19 Daily Update:SA breach 90,000 deaths with 13147 new cases.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 13,147 new cases,which brings the total number of confirmed cases to 3,051,222. This represents a 24.9% positivity rate and total of 52,890 tests were conducted in the last 24hrs.

NICD said a further 27 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,002 to date.

Globally, as of 6 December 2021, there have been 265 194 191 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5 254 116 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation

Meanwhile the debate about mandatory vaccines has reached fever pitch as efforts to contain Covid-19 accelerate.

Compelling scientific, ethical and legal arguments have been advanced around whether or not people should be forced to be vaccinated. Some countries have already introduced mandates which require people to produce proof of vaccination to access certain public places.

The debates are based on a realistic fear about the continuing emergence of new variants against the backdrop of large numbers of unvaccinated people – in high-income countries as well as in low-and-middle-income countries.

That fear was realised on 25 November 2021 when South African scientists announced the new variant, to which the World Health Organisation assigned the name Omicron. This "variant of concern" threw the world into chaos – global markets tumbled, travel restrictions were slapped on various southern African countries and health facilities were on high alert.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that the government had set up a task team to advise on vaccine mandates.

Vaccine mandates that have been successfully implemented have shown a marked increase in the vaccine status of employees. The private health insurer Discovery Limited is a case in point. Since introducing a mandatory vaccine policy, vaccine uptake among employees increased from 22% in September 2021 to 94% in November 2021.

Several countries have introduced mandates. These include France, Austria, Greece, the Netherlands and the US.

The mandates initially applied to healthcare workers who have an obligation to protect patients and colleagues from harm. Now, vaccine passes are also required to access museums, restaurants, bars, gyms, public transport and shopping malls.

To date, only 36.8% of South Africa’s adult population has been fully vaccinated – with either a single dose of Johnson and Johnson or two doses of Pfizer. The aim was to cover 70% of the adult population by December 2021.