By Kaya 959 News
Rapid testing teams have been deployed to the Free State and Northern Cape after officials noted a slight increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the last week.
The cases have been attributed to cluster resurgence and teams are conducting contact tracing.
Cabinet said it received an update on the COVID-19 infection rate across the country and commended South Africans for their continued adherence to the non-pharmaceutical health protocols of wearing a mask when in public spaces, maintaining social distancing of about 1.5 metres and always washing hands with soap and water or using a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
“However, the report also indicated a slight increase of 4,9% in persons testing positive in the past 14 days, by 18 April 2021. The cases increased from 14 113 in the preceding 14 days to 14 807 cases in the last 14 days,” Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said.
NICD monitoring the situation
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to monitor COVID-19 trends nationally.
“We have noted an upsurge in cases in the Northern Cape, North West and Free State Provinces. The team is working with the respective provinces to ascertain whether the rise in cases can be attributed to cluster outbreaks, and recommend increased testing and contact tracing to contain the situation and limit further spread,” said Dr Harry Moultrie, Senior Epidemiologist at the NICD.
With the April school holiday season rapidly approaching and many making plans for travel and social gatherings, complying with non-pharmaceutical measures to minimise transmission of the virus remains vital.
This includes the proper wearing of masks, practising good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 m from others.
Where possible, social activities should take place outdoors or in well-ventilated areas/rooms with open windows and doors, as proper ventilation plays an important role in reducing transmission.
“We want to reassure the South African public that we are actively monitoring the situation in these provinces and will keep the community informed of any new developments,” says Prof Adrian Puren, the NICD’s Acting Executive Director.
Elderly urged to register
The NICD monitors the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and tests performed on a daily basis, and associated resurgence metrics. The DATCOV hospital surveillance platform monitors COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital in all provinces of South Africa.
With the planned upliftment on the country’s vaccination programme set to be announced any day, people 60 and over are urged to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System:
People without access to the internet can register in person at over 3 338 vaccination sites across the country. Mobile teams will also be deployed to assist the elderly, the homeless and people living in rural areas.
SA has secured an additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which brings the total doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 30 million. This means South Africa will be able to vaccinate 15 million people with the Pfizer vaccine instead of just 10 million.
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