A total of 11 093 new Covid-19 cases were identified in South Africa on Tuesday.
The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (67%), followed by the Western Cape (8%). Gauteng recorded 7 471 new cases (compared to 6 292 yesterday), the Western Cape 847, North West 720 and KwaZulu-Natal 551.
A further 297 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, compared to 93 yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 59 092, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1 843 572 and represents a 23.7 % positivity rate.
A total of 12 633 235 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors. An increase of 575 hospital admissions has been reported in the past 24 hours.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday the government is considering imposing tighter lockdown restrictions, particularly in Gauteng, where the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise.
“Clearly there seem to be indications we have to increase the measures, particularly in Gauteng, we have imposed or put in place,” said Ramaphosa.
Answering questions in Cape Town after a port visit, Ramaphosa said: “We are in the third wave. The issue of moving onto another level is a matter that is going to be discussed by the National Coronavirus Command Council — the NCCC will meet and make recommendations.”
While doctors struggle to find beds for the desperately ill, Dr. Mary Kawonga, chairperson of the Gauteng premier’s advisory committee on Covid-19, says human behaviour is fuelling the intensity of the third wave of infections in the province.
“There is a high level of transmission in the community. What is concerning to us is that people are moving around a lot. They are moving more than they did during the second wave. There is a lot of contact happening between people,” said Kawonga.
Meanwhile, it is “all systems go” for the rollout of teacher vaccinations from Wednesday.
Education Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the vaccinations will not be administered on school premises.
“The vaccinations are not taking place in schools but at vaccination sites. All the vaccines have arrived in all the provinces and have been distributed to all the centres. We are starting officially tomorrow,” he said on Tuesday.