Tuesday, 24 May 2022 21:16

SA records 4 227 new cases with Gauteng reaching 10 million vaccine target.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), 4 227 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 935 761. 

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (31%) followed by Western Cape (22%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 16%; Eastern Cape accounted for 11%; Free State accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West each accounted for 4% respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s cases.

This increase represents an 15.7% positivity rate.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is (15.7%), and is higher than yesterday (13.7%). The 7-day average is (19.1%) today, and is lower than yesterday (19.8%). The 7-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased.

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 50 deaths, and of these, 14 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 101,002 to date.

The Gauteng Department of Health has reached its target of vaccinating more than 10 million people in the province against Covid-19.

Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi revealed this on Tuesday during the tabling of her department's budget vote for the 2022/23 financial year in the provincial legislature.

Gauteng is leading the other provinces in the country in terms of the number of jabs administered at 10,005,136, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with more than five million vaccinations. Nationally, nearly 50% of the population has been vaccinated.

Despite the milestone reached by the province, Mokgethi said her department planned to ramp up its vaccination programme amid fears of a fifth wave of infections this winter.

She said a total of R1.5 billion was allocated for the fight against the pandemic.

"I must hasten to say that there are still more people who need to get the jab in order to protect themselves and those around them."

Hence, we want to once again remind everyone that Covid-19 is still in our midst and that vaccination together with observing of safety measures remains the best form of protection as we accelerate efforts to restore livelihoods, "Mokgethi said.

The MEC said the health department would mainstream Covid-19 vaccination into all service points within the public healthcare system as part of its soon-to-be-launched Street to Street Campaign.

The campaign is a targeted and holistic approach that would assist the department in taking a basket of health services such as TB screening, HIV counselling, testing and management – among other services – to communities.

"Furthermore, a total amount of R1.5 billion is allocated for the comprehensive health response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is assigned for administering the vaccination roll-out programme among others.

"Included in this amount is the R1.1 billion, which is designated to sustain filled posts created for the Covid-19 response programme," Mokgethi said.

Other highlights from the budget vote on Tuesday included the allocation of R6.2 billion for the province’s HIV and TB programme.

Gauteng runs one of the biggest HIV prevention and treatment programme in the country.

R35.2 billion was set aside to sustain the department’s current staff complement and fast-track the filling of all critical posts in health institutions.

Mental health care services were allocated R474.6 million this financial year.

Emergency services would receive R1.6 billion to improve emergency response times in urban and rural areas in the province. About 30 ambulances, according to the health MEC, had already been procured to augment EMS response capacity.

R2.3 billion was also allocated to implement health infrastructure projects in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Sebokeng and other areas in the province.

Overall, the Gauteng Department of Health received a total of R59.4 billion for the financial year and a further R178.2 billion over the 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).