LAGOS NIGERIA WEATHER | LIVE | Covid-19 in SA: Cases at 1 278 303 as death toll hits 35 140

SA’s latest Covid-19 numbers

There have been 15 046 new Covid-19 infections, taking the tally to 1 246 643. The death toll is now at 33 579, after 416 more deaths – 163 of which were in the Eastern Cape.

A cumulative total of 7 236 389 tests have been completed with 52 496 tests conducted since the last report.

Our recoveries now stand at 973 265, representing a recovery rate of 78,1%.

ICYMI | Ramaphosa announces continuation of lockdown measures, closes land border posts, alcohol still banned

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country will continue in lockdown Level 3, and has announced a new curfew of between 21:00 and 05:00. The sale of alcohol remains banned.

Ramaphosa also announced a closure of all land border posts coming into South Africa – including the Beitbridge post – which has been seen to be congested and is a risk of spreading Covid-19.

He also warned that funerals were seen to be so-called superspreader events, and cautioned the public about enclosed gatherings. Gatherings, apart from special circumstances, remain prohibited.

He added that there was not yet a decision on the reopening of schools.

Ramaphosa also talked tough against people who have been circulating conspiracy theories and misinformation about the potential vaccine. He sought to assure the public about the government’s rollout of the vaccine.

Ramaphosa was addressing the nation on lockdown measures to curb the Covid-19 virus. It was his fourth address of this kind just over a month.

He last week said priority one for the government in 2021 was Covid-19, which he said was threatening the economy, warning that the second wave may be deadlier than the first.

This comes as the number of new infections rise by the tens of thousands per day, and as SA battles a new variant of Covid-19, which is said to transfer faster.

Game changer

Ramaphosa said an effective vaccine will be “a game changer in our fight against Covid-19.”

He said our scientists say we will reach herd immunity once about 67% of our population is vaccinated. “We have put in place a comprehensive vaccination strategy to reach all parts of the country.”

He said it will likely be the biggest logistical undertaking in the country’s history.

The country will be procuring vaccines via the Covax programme, the African Union’s vaccine initiative, and through direct engagements with vaccine manufacturers.

Phase one of the vaccine rollout will go toward frontline healthworkers. Phase two will target essential workers (police, teachers, etc.) and people in old age homes, shelters, prisons, and adults with comorbidities. Phase three will target the remaining adult population. At this point, we would have reached about 40 million South Africans.

He said people in the country have been seen to be sceptical about vaccines and there is “much disinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines.” Ramaphosa says vaccines have been seen to eradicate several diseases in history. He says most South Africans have been vaccinated at one time or another.

Second pandemic

Meanwhile, the president also spoke about the “second pandemic” of gender-based violence, saying that there was a drive to sensitise men and religious leaders about gender norms and the patriarchy. He said religious leaders will be told about reporting cases of gender-based violence. 

Ramaphsoa in closing said: “The coronavirus storm is much fiercer than any that we’ve known before. We are now in the centre of that storm. We do not know how much longer it will last… but we know what we need to do to weather the storm and protect ourselves. We know what we need to do as a nation to overcome the pandemic.

“We need to, therefore, act with common purpose. If we work together and maintain our resolve, we will attain the new year we all want. We will also be able to rebuild our lives and our nation.”

– Kerushun Pillay

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