The Department of Health have confirmed that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa is 1 567 513.
The number of tests conducted to date is 10 355 196. Of these 18 130 tests were completed since the last report.
Deaths and Recoveries
Today, 21 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 10, Free State 2, Gauteng 1, Kwa-Zulu Natal 1, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 3, North West 0, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 4 which brings the total to 53 757 deaths.
Our cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 490 876, representing a recovery rate of 95%
Western Cape’s Preparedness for Phase Two Vaccination Rollout
Today, I had the pleasure of visiting the Western Cape, albeit against a backdrop of the devastating mountain fire that has caused calculable and incalculable losses. As we drove past some of the dying embers, I could not help but recall the President’s State of the Nation Address where he likened the COVID-19 pandemic to a devastating bushfire out of which we, as South Africans, must emerge as a more resilient nation.
The mass vaccination campaign, due to begin officially on 17 May 2021, is soon upon us and represents hope for our nation after the social, economic and psychological carnage left by COVID-19. It is for this reason that I have embarked on a nationwide tour to assess the readiness of provinces to rollout the vaccines at the anticipated rate that will be required to achieve population immunity by the first quarter in 2022. I have now completed three provincial visits and, so far, feel satisfied that Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape understand the requirements and have the inclination to rise to the occasion.
Having being presented with the mass vaccination rollout plan for the Western Cape, I was pleased to note that the Province has given full consideration to the interventions that need to be implemented such that the Province can vaccinate the nearly 5 million citizens targeted for that region.
I am also pleased that the Province’s plan aligns with the National Department of Health strategy. I reassured the Premier, Hon. Alan Winde, and the MEC Hon. Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, that National Department has secured enough vaccines for all the provinces (both for public and private sector) and that Western Cape will get as many vaccines as they need to achieve population immunity. Therefore there is no need for any provincial government to procure its own vaccines.
The province can, therefore focus their energies on the distribution and logistics of inoculation. I publicly outlined the expected quarterly delivery schedule, which stands as follows:
This schedule shows that, provided we receive the vaccines as committed to by the manufacturers, we will be able to vaccinate 46,2 million South Africans by the by the end of the fourth quarter, that is March 2022. This tally excludes the 500 000 that will be vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol. We are also hopeful that COVAX will be able to deliver 1,2 million doses this quarter.
We send a word of appreciation to the 343 420 senior citizens who had already registered on the EVDS as at 18.00 this evening. We call on all South Africans to assist their friends, family and neighbours who are 60 years and older to register on the EVDS by accessing the portal online at vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za