Johannesburg – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says 128 887 healthcare workers have now been vaccinated in the country since the Johnson & Johnson doses arrived in February.
South Africa kicked off its mass vaccination programme in February after the J&J vaccine doses touched down.
In phase 1 of the vaccination programme, only healthcare workers in the public and private sector are being vaccinated as they are most at risk to Covid-19 infection.
They are being vaccinated as part of the Sisonke Protocol, a study, which allows the government to roll out the vaccine to health workers while awaiting the necessary approvals from the SA Health Products Regulator.
In terms of Covid-19 infections, he said there were 1477 new infections, as well as 109 new deaths, which took the country’s death toll since March last year to 51 015 deaths.
This takes South Africa’s Covid-19 infections to over 1.5 million infections since March.
The number of recoveries in the country stands at over 1.4 million recoveries, which means there is a recovery rate of about 94.8% currently.
Mkhize said they had now tested over 9.2 million people in the private and public sector, with over 36 000 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.
Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape had the most new deaths.
Deaths by province:
Gauteng – 52 deaths
KZN – 17
Western Cape – 15The country recently experienced a second wave of Coronavirus which took the country back to level 3 in December and level one recently as the cases of Coronavirus recorded daily declined. Furthermore, the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines had been rolled out with over 128 000 front lines vaccinated.
The decline in cases and and the vaccinations having started, it is expected lockdown to end very soon but this might not be the case. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has extended the national state of Disaster with 35 more days. The national state of Disaster had been expected to end by 15 March but this seems to have been extended to 15 April 2021.
Free State – 11
Northern Cape – 8
Limpopo – 4
Mpumalanga – 2
South Africa has procured 9 million vaccine doses from the J&J, as well as 20 million doses from Pfizer have been promised, along with an additional 12 million doses from the COVAX facility.
South Africa also expects vaccine doses through the AU’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team facility.