Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
20 Aug 2021
8:13 am

SA to remain at adjusted alert level 3 after 18% surge in Covid-19 cases

Cheryl Kahla

The surge in new Covid-19 infections is largely driven by the Western Cape, KZN, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

Picture: AFP/Kena Betancur

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla addressed the media on government’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19 and the progress of the vaccination roll-out programme. Unfortunately, SA remains at alert level 3.

The biggest milestones in the battles are the rollout of jabs for anyone over the age of 18, as well as reaching the 10-million mark of vaccines administered.

Adjusted alert level 3

Phaahla said the moving seven-day average show an 18.2% increase in new cases. The surge is largely driven by new cases in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

However, the health minister said it is “slightly encouraging” to see hospital admissions going down by 5.4% over the past seven days, which means less pressure on facilities and medical staff.

Senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ridhwaan Suliman, on Wednesday said the epidemiological trajectory “does not make for pretty reading at the moment”.

It showed that KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were still on a sharp increase, while the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State were “at their highest points ever”.

NOW READ: Covid-19 third wave ‘rearing its ugly head’: 7-day average up 21.7%

Vaccine milestones reached

  • 10 million doses administered as of Thursday at 5pm
  • Over three million people over the age of 60 are fully vaccinated or have received their first dose, out of an estimated total population of 5.5 million
  • At the time of publishing, 4.62 million (or 12%) of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
  • The adult population refers to those over the age of 35.
  • In addition, 7.8 million (approximately 20%) of the adult population received one jab-vaccinations.
  • Vaccination for 18 year olds opens today. Walk-ins without registration are welcome, but registering beforehand will save time.

“We still have a long way to go to reach 70% of the adult population, but at least we are on the journey,” Phaahla said.

NOW READ: Here’s where you can get your jab in Gauteng today