SA records 971 new COVID-19 cases with 5 related deaths.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 971 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 984 646.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (39%) followed by Western Cape (20%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 14%; Eastern Cape accounted for 7%; Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga each accounted for 5% respectively; North West accounted for 4%; and Northern Cape accounted for 2% 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 (7.6%). The 7-day average is 7.1% today, and is lower than yesterday (7.2%). The 7-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased.
Today, the NDoH reports 5 deaths, and of these, 3 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 101,589 to date.
Meanwhile the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has paid about 750,000 claims with more expected soon.
This follows months of appeals, verification and reconsideration processes pertaining to the R350 COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) applications.
The payments have been progressive in clearing the backlog due to reconsideration appeals between August and November 2021.
The SRD Grant was extended for 12 months in February but, in a statement, SASSA said: "Before the extension could be implemented, the legislative framework had to be changed, given the lifting of the COVID-19 National State of Disaster."
The agency added that the conditions addressed concerns of staying within a R44 billion budget - without excluding those in need.
"To achieve this, we implemented a means test not only for appeals but for all applicants upfront. This requires SASSA to implement a similar process of checking income in people’s bank accounts. This was previously only done for those who have appealed. We have now implemented this for all the COVID-19 SRD Grant applications upfront."
SASSA said this required an extensive procurement and systems development process, including partnering with some of the main banks in South Africa.
Assessments for new applications have also begun, the agency noted.
SASSA has appealed to clients to provide their bank account details so that it can make payments directly into their own accounts.
Recipients have been advised not to go to the South African Post Office to access the funds.
"Recipients of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 who had selected to receive their funds at SAPO branches are requested to visit www.srd.sassa.gov.za and select an option to collect the grant from any retail outlets such as Checkers, Usave, Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer.