By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 15,501 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,090,909. This increase represents a 26.2% positivity rate, which is lower than yesterday (31.6%).
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (59%), followed by Western Cape (10%). Kwa-Zulu Natal accounted for 8%; North West accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; Eastern Cape and Limpopo each accounted for 4%; Free State accounted for 3%; and Northern Cape accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha has urged the province's people to comply with COVID-19 preventative measures, as positive cases increase.
Sambatha expressed grave concern with the increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases in the province in the past two weeks, with 101 096 positive cases recorded and 82 620 recoveries.
"We are gravely concerned by the steady increase of COVID-19 cases in the province, the average cases reported since last week hovers around 1 000 at average. This is a serious cause for concern for our province given the status quo unfolding in Gauteng Province," Sambatha said in a statement on Monday.
To date, the province has 16 001 active cases with Bojanala District accounting for 9 801 cases, followed by Dr Kenneth Kaunda District with 2981, and Ngaka Modiri Molema District with 2 350 cases.
Sambatha noted that Bojanala and Dr Kenneth Kaunda Districts remain the major concern for the province, as they continue to register more positive daily cases.
An increase of 790 hospital admissions have been reported in the past 24 hours.
NICD said a further 457 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 62,628 to date.
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.
Meanwhile the Department of Health says it will offer Covid-19 vaccines to some South Africans even if they don’t meet the current criteria of being aged 50 years or older.
In a circular published this week, the department said the following individuals and groups will be considered eligible for vaccination outside of the vaccine roll-out eligibility criteria:
- Ministers, deputy ministers, premiers and MECs, as well their direct staff.
- Individuals where vaccination is requested by the presidency, the minister of health or the director-general of health.
- South African diplomats and their families who are posted overseas – during visits to South Africa.
- Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer vaccine outside of South Africa more than 42 days ago will be eligible to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
- Individuals who need to travel outside of South Africa.
The department said that travel for the following reasons will be considered:
- Business or work-related travel;
- Study at an accredited educational institution;
- Sportsmen/women who need to travel outside of South Africa to represent the country;
- Accessing medical care.
How to apply
The department said that requests should be submitted by email to email@example.com using the attached form.
"Submission of documents supporting an individual’s application for vaccination may be requested and must be submitted before the application will be approved.
"This documentation may include (but is not limited to): visa, work or study permit for the country to which individual is travelling, a letter from employer, the institution of study or sports federation, an affidavit signed by a commissioner of oaths."
Embassy staff based in South Africa, as well as individuals working for United Nations and other international agencies, will be vaccinated in line with the national vaccination programme eligibility criteria.
However, these individuals will receive priority, and their vaccination will be expedited, it said.
"All (those seeking vaccination) will need to be registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS). Individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated should register themselves on the EVDS.
"Following registration, individuals should submit their details and request for prioritisation using the attached form to firstname.lastname@example.org."
The department said that individuals who are not yet eligible to register on EVDS must submit their details and request using the attached form together with any required documentation to email@example.com.
The department said that the criteria outlined above will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.