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Friday, 08 April 2022 22:31

SA records 1,377 new COVID-19 cases with Vooma Weekend in full swing.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 1,377 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,730,066

This increase represents a 5.9% 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 9 deaths and of these, 3 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,084 to date.

The Department of Health will this weekend bring COVID-19 vaccination services to vulnerable and hard to reach populations.

The Vooma Vaccination Weekend, which kicks off today, comes ahead of the 2022 Easter weekend, and a series of other long weekends that are coming up in the country.

With the changes in South Africa’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have helped to save lives and livelihoods since the outbreak of the pandemic, the department has reiterated that vaccination remains the most effective way to protect ourselves from severe illness and death should one be infected with the virus.

In a statement on Friday, the department said that a key feature of this Vooma Vaccination Weekend will include the vaccination of vulnerable people, including undocumented citizens and individuals who have lost their identity documents and cannot retrieve them because they don't know their identity number.

"Our message as a country has always been that no one will be left behind because no one is safe unless we are all safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way of ensuring this is achieved," the department said.

The department has called on all unvaccinated and partly vaccinated people; including children aged 12 years and older to use this opportunity.

"While we will roll out public sites in all provinces, we are also prioritising areas with vulnerable persons as per the StatsSA's [Statistics South Africa] COVID Vulnerability index. We will be vaccinating all citizens in the country even if they do not have any form of identity document. All you have to do is to go to your nearest vaccination site and receive this life-saving treatment," the statement read.

The department said that its #KeReady campaign is particularly targeting young adults who remain the least vaccinated cohort in the country.

Ahead of the long weekends, public and religious holidays in the country, the department said that it is important that people are vaccinated as they spend time with friends and family.

The department will be using a range of platforms, events, and opportunities to make it easier for people to access vaccination services in the next few months. These will include sporting, cultural, and religious events.

"Such interventions will be crucial in ensuring that South Africa achieves its target of vaccinating 70% of its population, " the department said.

The department further said that following the discussions between government and the Premier Soccer League, there will be vaccination services at the soccer stadiums this weekend, to enable unvaccinated and partly vaccinated soccer-loving fans to vaccinate.

However, fans are reminded to arrive early with their match tickets, proof of identity and vaccination certificate, if vaccinated, otherwise they can vaccinate at the stadiums.

Second and booster vaccine doses will also be available. The campaign will end on Sunday.