Covid-19 weekly round-up: Spectators return to stadiums but in limited numbers
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Under the new lockdown level 1 regulations and as part of phase one towards fully reopening sporting activities, a limited number of spectators will be allowed to return to sporting venues.
For the first time since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, fans will be able to cheer on their teams, but there is a limit to 750 people for indoor venues and 2 000 people for outdoor venues.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, gazetted the amendment of Disaster Management Act regulations after government eased lockdown restrictions following a sharp decline of Covid-19 infections in the country.
Kicking off the reopening of sporting events was the Bafana Bafana FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier match against Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Only vaccinated fans were admitted to the match and they were required to complete an application form to purchase tickets.
According to the Bafana Bafana Twitter page, all 2000 tickets were sold.
Over 10 million South Africans are fully vaccinated according to the Department of Health which translates to 25% of the country’s adult population.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla says the country is on track to reaching the target of vaccinating 70% of people by the end of the year.
The C.1.2 Covid-19 variant that “raised a bit of an alarm” for South African scientists in August, has remained at a low frequency which could be due to increased population immunity from prior infections.
Experts have found that the C.1.2 variant has not exponentially increased like the Beta and Delta variants.
Principal medical scientist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Dr Jinal Bhiman said the C.1.2 variant is currently at less than 3% of genomes, from May to September.
The Network for Genomic Surveillance South Africa (NGS-SA) said the Delta variant continues to dominate in all South African provinces.
In a recent study, Bhiman and a team of researchers found that prior infection with either Beta or Delta variants would likely offer some protection against C.1.2.
She said though C.1.2 is present in South Africa and globally, the country has not yet seen exponential expansion of this lineage.
The Department of Health last week officially launched the first phase of South Africa's digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate.
The certificate could be used to show vaccination status to facilitate travel, access to establishments, gatherings and other forms of activity.
For those vaccinated and wanting to download their certificates, here’s how to do it.
1. Go to the website vaccine.certificate.health.gov.za where you will be directed to the official system portal.
2. Click on the "Get my vaccine certificate" button.
3. You'll then be directed to a page where you must select "Identity Type" which is either a South African Identity Number, Passport number, Asylum Seeker or Refugee number.
4. After selecting your "Identity Type", enter your ID number, Proof of Vaccination Code, Name and Surname.
5. Confirm that you are not a robot then click "Next".
6. The next page will allow you to download your vaccination certificate.
If you were not able to receive your vaccination code, call the vaccination hotline for assistance on 0800 089 999.
Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories