Vaccinations in the country to fight the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa have been suspended for over a week now, but are set to begin in earnest on 17th May according to Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. The head of the National Department of Health (NDoH) confirmed as much earlier this week during a visit to the Western Cape to assess the province’s readiness for the aforementioned date.
“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,” explained Mkhize.
“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,” he added.
The minister also thanked the estimated 343 420 senior citizens who had already registered on the EVDS system for the next phase of the rollout.
Whether the projected targets will be reached on the newly truncated rollout timeline remains to be seen, but the fact that next month will see efforts start up again in earnest is pleasing news nonetheless.
Looking at the latest numbers for COVID-19 in South Africa, 744 new cases have been recorded over the past 24 hours, with the total number of infections recorded to date now at 1 567 513. The recovery rate remains at 95 percent, with 1 490 876 recoveries recorded too.
Unfortunately 21 new fatalities have also been reported over the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to date to 53 757.
The full breakdown of COVID-19 in South Africa is as follows:
|Provinces||Confirmed Cases||Recoveries||Active cases||Deaths|
|Western Cape||285 308||268 803||16 505||11 531|
|Eastern Cape||195 862||184 163||11 699||11 454|
|Northern Cape||38 058||33 874||2 859||858|
|Free State||86 070||79 993||6 077||3 785|
|KwaZulu-Natal||335 779||319 874||15 905||10 336|
|North West||65 918||61 756||4 162||1 632|
|Mpumalanga||77 098||74 804||2 294||1 385|
|Gauteng||419 823||406 523||13 300||10 525|
|Limpopo||63 597||61 086||2 511||2 251|
|TOTAL||1 567 513||1 490 876||76 637||53 757|
As always, in order to stay up to date with the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa and abroad, we advise the following materials and platforms:
- Dr Zweli Mkhize on Twitter
- COVID-19 Connect on WhatsApp – add 0600 123 456 as a contact and say “Hi”.
- World Health Organisation
- SA Coronavirus website
- SA Government
- SA Presidency