By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
South Africa observed the one year anniversary of the hard lockdown that was put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Department of Health’s daily Covid-19 statistics update, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases for South Africa also reached 1 543 079 on the one year anniversary of the hard lockdown.
The cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 752 061 with 29 240 tests completed in the past 24 hours.
On Friday, 67 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported with the Eastern Cape recording 3, the Free State 6, Gauteng 23, KwaZulu-Natal 9, Limpopo 17, North West 5, the Northern Cape 1 and the Western Cape 3. Mpumalanga recorded 0 deaths, which brings the total to 52 602 deaths.
The department said the cumulative recoveries stand at 1 469 565, representing a recovery rate of 95%.
The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol as at 18.30 today is 231 002.
Meanwhile the one year anniversary and the new health department data come amid a growing chorus of voices that want the government to impose a stricter lockdown ahead of the Easter holidays to mitigate a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
Commenting on the coming Easter weekend and the possibility of large gatherings, Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize said churches and other religious bodies have asked government to lift restrictions, however the Ministerial Advisory Committee has recommended an increase in restrictions to prevent super-spreader events.
He said government is still in talks with various stakeholders to find a way of curbing the spread of the coronavirus without infringing on the rights of communities.
He added that government was relying on South Africans to safeguard themselves.
Mkhize also rubbished fake news doing the rounds, claiming that South Africa will go back to lockdown level 5. He said people need to understand that there is a long weekend coming and they cannot attend large parties.