Premier Sihle Zikalala provided an update on Covid-19 in the province ahead of the local government elections. I SUPPLIED
Premier Sihle Zikalala provided an update on Covid-19 in the province ahead of the local government elections. I SUPPLIED

Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations, deaths decline in KZN

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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DURBAN - NEW Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths were declining in KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Sihle Zikalala said during a media briefing on Wednesday on the pandemic and the coming elections.

“Over the past week, the overall percentage change in the number of new cases between weeks 40 and 41 was -50%, which is, in other words, a 50% decline. The actual number of new cases recorded was 2 035 for week 40 and 1 026 for week 41.

“The decline occurred across the province, with iLembe, uThukela and Zululand districts observing a percentage change that was above 60%,” Zikalala said.

He said as of this Tuesday, the province had 764 patients admitted to private (514; 67%) and public hospitals (250; 33%). Of those admitted, 130 required intensive care services. Private hospitals had more patients in intensive care units (92%; 119) than those in public facilities (8%; 11).

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said while hospital admission numbers had decreased, the number of unvaccinated people admitted was higher than those who had been vaccinated.

“Which is why we are making a great call that people must get vaccinated because we believe so far it is the only solution we have,” Simelane said.

Zikalala said according to the most recent data, KZN recorded one new Covid-19-related death, which brought the total number of deaths to 14 704.

“The eThekwini Metro Municipality continues to contribute 35% of the reported deaths, which amount to 5 235. Of the total number of fatalities, 231 or 2% of them occurred at home, which is cause for concern for us.”

Zikalala said only about 2 997 598 million or 29% of the KZN population eligible for vaccination, had been vaccinated.

Vaccinations of those aged 60 and above were at 58%; 50 to 59 at 31%; 35 to 49 at 13%; and 18 to 34 at 11%.

Zikalala reiterated the call for reaching the target of 7.2 million vaccinations by the end of December.

He said to intensify the campaign, vaccinations could be done at fixed sites: health-care facilities, mass vaccination sites, community halls, tertiary institutions, occupational health sites, taxi ranks, drive-through sites, pension pay points and shopping malls; and through door-to-door engagement.

With the local government elections a few weeks away, Zikalala said people needed to avoid potential super-spreader gatherings: “As we head to the elections, we must not lose sight of the fact that Covid-19 is still with us and infecting people. We need to vaccinate.

“We need to ensure that the gathering of large crowds of people who will stand in queues as they wait for their chance to vote, do not turn into Covid-19 super-spreader events,” Zikalala said.

“There have been instances where this has happened elsewhere in the world, so we are calling upon all voters to ensure that they follow all proper Covid-19 prevention protocols so that we do not suffer a similar fate.”

Daily News

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