WATCH our Covid-19 weekly round-up: Gauteng sees slight drop in cases

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Jul 12, 2021

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GAUTENG has been the epicentre of the third Covid-19 wave in South Africa. However, new cases have seen a slight drop from last week.

The province, however, still accounts for more than half of the new Covid-19 cases recorded in the country, with 52%, followed by the Western Cape with 12%.

Senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Ridhwaan Suliman said Gauteng was showing some promising signs that the province may have passed its third wave peak.

“Infections in Gauteng should decrease if we continue to play our part. There is a glimmer of hope, but we can't afford to become complacent,” he said.

The province’s 7-day moving average has decreased by 13% from last week. However, infection rates are still high with an average of 10 500 cases per day over the last week.

The highly-transmissible Delta variant is dominating new cases and accounts for around 80% of the new Covid-19 cases in the country.

Suliman said there is always a risk of further outbreaks and superspreader events that could cause the curve to turn again, which is why South Africans must remain vigilant.

Adjusted level 4 lockdown extended for 14 days

Today marks two weeks since the country was placed under alert level 4 and President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night that level 4 will be extended for another two weeks. However some changes have been made to the regulations.

The president said infections remain extremely high with the fast-spreading Delta variant and that the country is experiencing a third wave more severe than the previous two waves.

The lockdown restrictions that remain in place include:

– A ban on all gatherings whether indoor or outdoor.

– Places such as beaches and parks will remain open.

– The curfew remains from 9pm to 4am.

– Alcohol sales are still prohibited.

– Leisure travel in and out of Gauteng province is prohibited.

– Schools remain closed until July 26.

For the next two weeks, here are the following adjustments to alert level 4:

- Restaurants and eateries will be able to operate while observing strict health protocols but may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or for smaller venues more than 50% of their normal capacity.

- Gyms and fitness centres may also open and activities such as agricultural livestock and game auctions will be allowed.

Registration to open for 35-49 year olds on July 15

Covid-19 vaccine registration for South Africans between the ages of 35-49 will open on Thursday the 15th of July.

The Department of Health has set a target to start vaccinating this age group on the 1st of August.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane made the announcement during a media briefing last week.

As the vaccine rollout reaches new age groups, Kubayi said a number of requests have been made to prioritize other special groups.

She said the department will continue to approach the vaccine rollout according to age sectors due to logistical and administrative reasons, however the department is reviewing this method.

More than 4.2 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the number of daily vaccinations is increasing.

Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories.

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