File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Over 1 400 new Covid-19 cases reported in SA

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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Cape Town – A total of 1 422 new Covid-19-related cases have been identified in South Africa.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases now stands at 1 548 157, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday night. A total of 756 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Tuesday and 548 on Monday.

A total of 58 more Covid-19 deaths have been reported (compared to 78 yesterday): Gauteng 23, KwaZulu-Natal 23, Western Cape 9, Northern Cape 2 and Free State 1. No deaths were recorded in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.

The Covid-19 death toll now stands at 52 846. The cumulative recoveries have risen to 1 474 319, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

The cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 879 348, with 34 513 tests completed since the last report.

Data supplied by the Department of Health

Visiting hours in Gauteng’s government hospitals have been eased to allow one visitor per patient for 15 minutes.

“The amendment will permit relatives and friends of patients to spend time with their loved ones while adhering to Covid-19 non-pharmaceutical measures such as social distancing and minimising overcrowding and hospital congestions,” said the provincial health department.

Several restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal obtained Green Flag status on Wednesday when their existing Covid-19 protocols were certified by the newly formed GreenFlag Association.

Similar to Blue Flag status obtained by beaches, the GreenFlag certification of public spaces is said to offer a reassurance that a venue has taken all precautions to provide a safe public space to customers and staff — especially when it comes to adequate ventilation.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Wednesday their Covid-19 vaccine was safe and effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year olds, paving the way for them to seek US emergency use authorization in weeks.

Pfizer hopes that vaccinations of the group could begin before the next school year, Albert Bourla, Pfizer's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Pfizer's vaccine is already authorized for use in people starting at age 16. The new study offers the first evidence of how the vaccine will also work in school-age adolescents.

In the trial of 2,260 adolescents aged 12 to 15, there were 18 cases of Covid-19 in the group that got a placebo shot and none in the group that got the vaccine, resulting in 100% efficacy in preventing Covid-19.

The vaccine was well tolerated, with side effects in line with those seen among those aged 16 to 25 in the adult trial. It did not list the side effects for the younger group, but the adult trial's side effects generally were mild to moderate and included injection-site pain, headaches, fever and fatigue.

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