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Friday, 25 March 2022 20:26

SA records 1,560 new cases bringing total cases to 3,710,766.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 1,560 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in South Africa in the past 24 hours, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3.710,766.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng Province (35%), followed by Western Cape (25%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 21%; Eastern Cape and North West each accounted for 5% respectively; Free State accounted for 4%; Limpopo and Mpumalanga each accounted for 2% respectively; and Northern Cape accounted for 1% of today’s new cases. 

This increase represents a 6.2% positivity rate.

Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 7 deaths and of these, 1 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours, "said the NICD.

With the Adjusted Alert Level 1 restrictions eased, Cabinet has reminded all people in South Africa to remain vigilant as COVID-19 has not yet been defeated, and it has called on those aged 12 years and older to vaccinate.

Cabinet has reiterated that vaccination remains the best defence against the virus, and reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

"Although infections and deaths currently remain low, we face a possible fifth wave in the coming weeks. The only defence we have is the scientific evidence showing the power of vaccines to save lives. Our country has already administered over 33 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines," Cabinet said.

Cabinet further welcomed the Code of Practice on the management of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace issued by the Department of Employment and Labour.

The Code of Practice was developed following public consultation with the National Economic Development and Labour Council and will take effect when the National State of Disaster is lifted.

The Code of Practice will guide employers and employees in conducting or updating a risk assessment plan to limit COVID-19 infections in the workplace. It lists measures such as vaccination, social distancing and personal hygiene to safeguard workspaces.

National State of Disaster 

In line with the recent extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 April 2022, Cabinet has called for the consideration of health regulations to regulate non-pharmaceutical safety measures such as the wearing of masks, social distancing, limits for gatherings and vaccinations.

Cabinet said this will also allow it to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems to mitigate the severity of COVID-19.

"The recent extension takes into consideration the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of State to address the impact of the disaster, "Cabinet said.

The South African government responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic by declaring the National State of Disaster in March 2020, in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002).

This facilitated an integrated and coordinated response to save lives and livelihoods.

The country has been under the regulations of the National State of Disaster on COVID-19 since March 2020, when South Africa recorded its first cases of the virus.

The President has announced further interventions that are meant to get the country to embark on a new phase in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said government intends to lift the National State of Disaster as soon as public comment on the health regulations published by the Minister of health has been completed.

All South Africans are invited to make comments on the draft regulations before the 16th of April.