Some good and encouraging news on the COVID-19 side. One million people between the ages of 35 and 49 have already registered to receive their jabs. The registration on government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System opened for this cohort on Wednesday night, a few hours ahead of schedule.
The response from the 35 to 49 population group has been massive, setting a new record of registrations for COVID-19 vaccines in a 24-hour period.
This has come at a relief for the government, with the acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi excitedly tweeting this development on Thursday night.
Government has been battling to get those who are 60 years and older to register and get vaccinated in quickest time since May.
The original target was five million elderly people jabbed by the end of June but that proved too ambitious.
Those who are 35 years and older and registered will get vaccinated from 1 August, but some sites are accepting walk-ins.
Are you 35 years and older? It’s your time to register on the Electronic Vaccination System (EVDS) in order for you to be vaccinated. To register, you can use any of the options provided #35to49 #VaccineRollOutSA pic.twitter.com/H0R0yhlpo3
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) July 15, 2021
More than 16 000 additional people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking South Africa’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 2 253 240.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said there were 16 435 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours.
A further 377 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 65 972.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (44%), followed by Western Cape (18%). Limpopo and North West each accounted for 9%; Mpumalanga accounted for 7%; Eastern Cape accounted for 5%; Free State and KwaZulu-Natal each accounted for 3%; and Northern Cape accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.
The NICD said that although the number of positive cases appeared to be decreasing, testing was critical for understanding the spread of Covid-19 infection.
It is crucial to remember that the testing data is representative of those who came forward for testing, not necessarily a reflection of current community transmission in South Africa.
Testing data is used to identify cases and the follow-up of contacts to limit transmission. This data is also used to predict, plan and deploy resources for risk mitigation.
“Understanding that services have been adversely affected and services may be temporarily closed we encourage all our communities to seek medical help if they have Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, lethargy, a dry cough, or trouble breathing,” the NICD said.
Individuals who are unable to access testing facilities and believe they have been infected or have had direct contact with someone who has been confirmed positive should call the Covid-19 hotline at 0800 029 999, stay home, quarantine for 10 days and minimise contact with others.