‘All provinces are in trouble,’ South Africa health department tells parliament

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

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

Speaking in parliament, acting minister of health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, health director-general Dr. Sandile Buthelezi alongside other senior health officials gave an update on what the country’s third wave looks like.

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

The department’s Dr. Aquina Thulare told MPs it was of grave concern that showing a steep upward trend.

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

The health department also gave an update on vaccine procurement saying it is expecting a total of 31 million doses of the J&J vaccine and 30 million Pfizer vaccines. A further 1.3 million Pfizer doses are expected to come from the Covax facility.

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

According to Thulare, a total of 3,574,318 people had registered on the electronic vaccination data service (EVDS), the majority of those being above the age of 60.

Those over 60 will be vaccinated until July 16 and a process to begin vaccinating those who are 40 and above is about to begin.