Monday, 06 June 2022 21:06

SA records 726 new COVID-19 cases a 7.2% positivity rate.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 726 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 968 931.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (38%) followed by Western Cape (23%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 13%; Mpumalanga and Free State accounted for 7% each respectively. North West accounted for 6%;  Northern Cape and Eastern Cape accounted for 3% each respectively ; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s cases.

 This increase represents a 7.2% positivity rate.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is 7.2 %, and is lower than yesterday (8.3%). The 7-day average is 10.0% today, and is lower than yesterday (10.3%)

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 33 deaths, and of these, 5 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 101,350 to date.

Meanwhile after months of fighting the Covid-19 vaccine mandate at Rhodes University, the Makhanda Against Mandates organisation has abandoned their court action. 

The organisation, made up of lecturers, parents, and students, took the university to court over the introduction of vaccine mandates for students and staff members.  

To enter the campus, staff and students were required to show proof of vaccination. 

Rhodes University spokesperson, Veliswa Mhlophe, said so far, 98% of the university community are vaccinated. 

"The university's objective is to achieve a full return to normal on-campus activities, balanced with the protection of the health and safety of Rhodes University and the greater Makhanda communities.

"With the assistance of internationally recognised scientists, the university  confirmed in its court papers that not only do vaccinations reduce the risk of asymptomatic infection, symptomatic infections, severe illness and death, but they also have a marked impact on reducing the risk of transmission of the virus. The applicants did not dispute this in their court papers."

Mhlophe said it was unfortunate the institution had to spend money on legal fees defending its stance.  

"It is regrettable that the university was forced to incur costs, in opposing the litigation, that should have been utilised in the academic endeavour."

Another organisation that withdrew their opposition to vaccines is Free the Children - Save the Nation. 

Last July, Sahpra authorised a paediatric Covid-19 trial on children aged six months to eight years for the Sinovac vaccine. In September, it approved the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to children aged 12 and above.

Free the Children - Save the Nation launched an appeal against both decisions last October. 

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla appointed Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi to chair the Covid-19 appeals committee hearings into Covid-19 vaccines in children. 

The committee was to meet in February and it was postponed to May. The committee was supposed to sit last week, but this didn’t happen because the organisation withdrew their appeal.