‘All provinces are in trouble,’ South African health ministry tells parliament


FILE PHOTO: A health worker checks a man’s temperature during a door-to-door test to try to contain the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Umlazi township near Durban, South Africa, April 4, 2020. REUTERS / Rogan Hall / File Photo

South Africa’s health ministry on Thursday expressed concern that “all provinces are in trouble” as daily COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to skyrocket in the country.

Speaking in parliament, Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Director General of Health Dr Sandile Buthelezi, and other senior health officials provided an update on the third wave of country.

The health department reported that as of Thursday more than 11,700 new cases were recorded, most of them from Gauteng. This after 13,246 cases were recorded the day before.

The ministry’s Dr. Aquina Thulare told MPs that it was of great concern to see a strong upward trend.

“Covid-19 cases continued to increase for the sixth week in a row. New deaths linked to Covid-19 increased by 47.85% in the past seven days to 791 from 535 in the previous seven days, ”Thulare said, adding that there were 64 healthcare workers who have tested positive in the past seven days.

The Department of Health also provided an update on vaccine supply, saying it expects a total of 31 million doses of the J&J vaccine and 30 million Pfizer vaccines. An additional 1.3 million doses of Pfizer are expected to come from the Covax facility.

This week, the country is expected to receive 300,000 doses of J&J and more than 600,000 of Pfizer.

According to Thulare, a total of 3,574,318 people had registered for the Electronic Immunization Data Service (EVDS), the majority of whom were over 60 years of age.

People over 60 will be vaccinated until July 16 and a process of vaccinating people 40 and over is about to begin.

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