Saturday, 27 March 2021 22:42

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa is 1 544 466.

This is an increase of 1387 of new cases identified and the cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 779 615 with 27 553 tests completed since the last report.

Mkhize said a further 46 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 1, Free State 7, Gauteng 16, Kwa-Zulu Natal 14, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 0, North West 0, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 8, which brings the total to 52 648 deaths.

The minister added the cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 471 164, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

Vaccination Rollout
The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol as at 18.30 today is 231 605.

Meanwhile Mkhize has warned that strict precautionary measures will be undertaken during the Easter weekend to prevent potential super spreader events.

Mkhize's warning comes in the wake of experts' advice for the government to upgrade the country to level 2 in anticipation of the third wave which is set to hit South Africa next month.

According to chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on Covid-19, Professor Barry Schoub, the tighter restrictions would be temporary and should be quickly lifted after Easter.

"This is a sensitive period of the Easter period where there is the vulnerability and the chance of the risk that we could have a super spreading event, with all the festivities and activities that go with the Easter long weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time," he said.

Mkhize said discussions on the implementation of stricter lockdown regulations were still in progress.

"There have been recommendations given about imposing a stricter lockdown but others are calling for some regulations to be relaxed so there is still consultation around the matter. The consultation process takes into account the advice given the ministerial advisory committee as well as the concerns of the various sectors of the economy including social, churches and business sectors," he said.

Mkhize said the decision is also guided by scientific research.

 "We have to balance the MAC's advice and look at hunger, unemployment and economic activities and we expect that after the consultation, we will come up with something. This is not an easy decision but something needs to be considered ahead of the long weekend, interprovincial travel and migration," Mkhize said.