South Africa has identified 2,062 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3.970,993 This increase represents an 8.8% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (34%) followed by Western Cape (20%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 13%; Eastern Cape accounted for 11% and Free State accounted for 6%. Mpumalanga and North West accounted for 5% each respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 3%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s cases.
47 deaths have also been recorded in the country, and of these, 10 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 101,397 to date.
25.400,217 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.
The Health Department has announced that people aged 50 years and older are now eligible for an additional booster shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
This additional booster will be available as of Monday to everyone in this age group who have completed at least 120 days or four months since they received their last Covid-19 vaccination of either Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
Previously, South Africans were eligible to receive one booster shot after their primary vaccination of either one dose of J&J, or two doses of Pfizer.
Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said the aim of the booster shot is to get more vulnerable people vaccinated.
“This is part of efforts by the government to increase vaccine uptake to achieve population immunity while protecting the most vulnerable groups, especially those living with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension.
“The Pfizer vaccine has shown to be safe and effective for boosting immunity in older persons who remain at highest risk of severe disease and death from Covid.”
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel