While vaccination coverage is increasing amid stable vaccine supply, South Africa has not yet vaccinated the majority of the adult population, says Dr Michelle Groome, Head of the Division of Public Health, Surveillance and Response at the NICD.
“Some 30% of the adult population have received at least one vaccine dose and in the coming months we need to prioritise the vaccine rollout, especially to those at risk for severe Covid-19 disease and those with underlying comorbidities. Mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene remain the main preventative strategies until our vaccine coverage rates increase,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
The national 7-day moving average of daily case numbers, positivity rate and testing rate continue to decrease, with sustained decreases seen in all provinces.
The institute on Wednesday reported 2,967 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2.889,298.
This increase represents a 7.0% positivity rate, said the institute.
The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (23%), followed by Western Cape (20%). Eastern Cape accounted for 12%; Free State & Gauteng Province each accounted for 11% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 8%; North West accounted for 7%; Mpumalanga accounted for 6%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.
“Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces have exited the third wave according to the current wave definitions. There are also sustained decreases in Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths in all provinces. These trends are encouraging but we should not let our guard down yet,” said Groome.
The country also recorded 124 Covid-19 related deaths, bringing total fatalities to 86,500 to date.
17,452,783 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.
There has been an increase of 142 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, said the institute.