On Tuesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 7,773 new Covid-19 cases as the country moves closer to 2,4 million cases.
Up to date, there has been 2 391 223 laboratory-confirmed cases in the country.
According to the institute, the latest stats represents a 21.2% positivity rate.
“As per the National Department of Health, a further 370 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 70 388 to date,” the institute said in a statement.
14 623 917 tests have been conducted in both public and private sector.
In an effort to ramp up its vaccination programme, the Eastern Cape government has authorised all its 741 clinics to administer Covid-19 vaccines, as the province aims to inoculate 4.5 million people before the end of the year. This was announced by Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth in East London on Tuesday.
Meth revealed that more than a million people had registered for the vaccine and more than 866 000 had already received the jab as of 26 July.
Meth said this feat had been achieved through the province inoculating about 30,000 people a day.
“And now we are ramping this up by targeting 50,000 people a day in the coming weeks in both government and private vaccination sites. This can be done,” she said.
“Anything is possible, especially since this pandemic has shown that government, the private sector and communities can work so well together. This week, the province received 69 325 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 95 790 Pfizer doses.”
Meth said a further consignment of 99 450 Pfizer doses were expected to arrive in the province on Thursday.
“We have adequate stock for this week and we are expecting to get more stock on Wednesday next week,” she added.
“We have ramped up our vaccination programme and we are fully rolling out [our] vaccination programme to ensure we achieve herd immunity by vaccinating at least 4.5-million of the Eastern Cape population.”
She further added that the province was “ramping up its vaccination programme to ensure no one who wants to get the jab is left behind.”
All clinics have been authorised to administer the vaccine, another move that will see more people being inoculated.
The department said health sciences students from the University of Fort Hare, Walter Sisulu University, Nelson Mandela University and Lilitha Nursing College were also being allocated to vaccination sites where they would administer the jab under strict guidance and supervision of experienced health workers.
Rhodes University is also on board with pharmacy students who will be assisting with the preparation of the vaccine and cold chain management.
The department has called on people not to act recklessly now that the country has adjusted lockdown restrictions. There are 838 people hospitalised in the province due to Covid-19.
Of those, 753 are general admissions and 85 are fighting for their lives in ICU.
Meth said: “We are confident that they are in the best possible hands as our dedicated health workers have nursed back to health tens of thousands of people who had been hospitalised.”
She warned that the threat from the virus was still real, as 254 people in the province had lost their lives to Covid-19 in the past seven days. Meth added that the department had embarked on a massive recruitment drive in the province, with the hopes of hiring CEOs, pharmacists, dentists, and other specialists to fill critical vacancies.
“When it comes to personal protective equipment, it’s availability is at 85% in the province, while it is as 90% in Nelson Mandela Metro. We continuously order PPE on a daily and weekly basis when the need arises to avoid running out of it,” explained Meth.
Additional reporting by News24 Wire