KZN opens more sites as it prepares to vaccinate teachers
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DURBAN - COVID-19 positive cases increased weekly in KwaZulu-Natal but the province was not yet in the third wave, said Premier Sihle Zikalala.
He also announced on Sunday, at a media briefing he hosted with Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane, that 21 more vaccination sites would be opened this week to accommodate teachers who would be vaccinated from Wednesday.
Zikalala said information gathered over the past 24 hours revealed that KZN recorded 227 new Covid-19 cases which brought the total number of confirmed cases to 340 586, while recoveries stood at 325 295 with 4 163 active cases. The death toll had reached 10 534 and 7 290 had comorbidities.
He said it was concerning that KZN continued to observe an increase in the number of new cases recorded weekly.
“The overall percentage change in the number of new cases between week 21 and 22 was 24%. The actual number of new cases was 726 for week 21; and 900 for week 22 respectively,” said Zikalala.
He said Amajuba District had reached the alert line and cases had been increasing slightly in the past three weeks while the eThekwini Metro had also been receiving the highest number of cases.
“eThekwini continues to contribute the highest percentage of deaths at 36% (3 843),” he said.
Zikalala said KZN was not in the third wave.
He said in terms of the province’s emergency early warning system, a 10% increase in cases over a seven-day moving average would trigger an alert, while a 20% increase in cases over a seven-day moving average would trigger resurgence. “This may indicate that we are entering the third wave of Covid-19 infections.”
Zikalala said with 124 public vaccination sites and 18 private ones, they had managed to vaccinate 360 451 people, made up of 237 195 senior citizens and 123 256 health workers.
He added that 21 more vaccination sites would be opened this week to accommodate teachers who would be vaccinated from Wednesday.
“We will be receiving 110 400 Johnson and Johnson vaccines for this category.”
He said some districts would open new sites where there were none and others would designate their sites accordingly to accommodate teachers.
He also said they were exploring the possibility of opening vaccination sites on weekends to accommodate teachers’ working days.
Zikalala said they were concerned about the high numbers of infections being reported in schools in a few days. On Friday, a school in the uMzinyathi District reported that 16 pupils had tested positive and another school in the uThukela District reported 15 positive cases, also among pupils.
Simelane said they had set an earlier target on the number of health workers they wanted to vaccinate and by when, but now planned to finish vaccinating health workers by the end of June because:
– Some health workers did not want to be vaccinated.
– They did not receive the number of vaccine doses they required as and when needed.
– Some private doctors would register their families as health workers, resulting in the closure of the system to deal with the issue.
Meanwhile, on Saturday Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said a total of 1 691 491 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa with recoveries standing at 1 574 223, which represented a recovery rate of 93.2%.
Mkhize said 97 people had died from Covid-19-related complications – Gauteng (41), Free State (21), Northern Cape (15), Western Cape (12), KZN (5) and Mpumalanga (3). The total is 56 929.