Tuesday, 11 January 2022 20:44

Covid-19 Daily Update: SA records 5668 new cases with 119 related deaths.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 5,668 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3, 534,131. 

The majority of new cases today are from Kwa-Zulu Natal (25%), followed by Gauteng (23%). Western Cape accounted for 20%; Eastern Cape accounted for 10%; Free State accounted for 6%; Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 4% respectively; and Northern Cape accounted for 3% of today’s new cases.

This increase represents a 14% positivity rate.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is 14.0% which is the same as yesterday (14.0%). The 7-day average is 18.3% today, which is lower than yesterday (19.2%). 

NICD said a further 119 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 92,649 to date.

Meanwhile the opposition Democratic Alliance has called on the government to allow the national state of disaster to lapse on Saturday (15 January) instead of renewing it for a further month.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the regulations are no longer necessary for managing the virus but cause undue harm by undermining the country’s social, economic and democratic recovery.

"Investors need it, tourists need it, teachers need it, schoolchildren need it. Schoolchildren need to go to school full time. Not a couple of days a week.

"People need to know they can invest in businesses large or small without the rules of the game suddenly changing. Without investment, there will be no job creation and no sustainable poverty alleviation," he said.

Steenhuisen also called the National Coronavirus Command Council 'profoundly undemocratic' in that it allowed a small group of individuals taking decisions on all our behalf without parliamentary oversight and other democratic checks on power.

While the national state of disaster was initially set to lapse on 15 June 2020, the legislation provides that it can be extended by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister by notice in the gazette for one month at a time before it lapses.

It has been enacted for 22 consecutive months since it was first declared at the end of March 2020, while the current extension lapses in mid-January.

The government has relied on the regulations to introduce and give effect to lockdown restrictions, which it has used to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has subsequently faced criticism for giving national government wide-ranging powers over the lives of citizens, with few limits and little to no oversight from parliament.

However, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has confirmed that the government is in the process of developing sustainable regulatory measures needed for the control of Covid-19 beyond the national state of disaster in terms of existing legislation.

In a December parliamentary Q&A, Dlamini-Zuma said that while the government cannot give a specific date on which it will end South Africa’s state of disaster, it was receiving active attention.

"It is important to reiterate that all lockdown restrictions will be lifted and the state of disaster will be terminated as soon as it is determined that the need to augment existing legislation and contingency arrangements through the disaster management regulations is no longer required to assist and protect the public, provide relief to the public, protecting property, preventing or combatting disruption or dealing with the destructive and other effects of the disaster," she said.