KZN records 227 new Covid-19 infections, expands vaccine rollout to pre-empt third wave

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala is happy about the rate of vaccinations in the province as it avoids the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala is happy about the rate of vaccinations in the province as it avoids the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
Image: Supplied

KwaZulu-Natal has vaccinated 360,451 people in the province and it plans to begin the vaccination of teachers from Wednesday, premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.

Briefing the media, Zikalala said the province has not reached the third wave of Covid-19 infections yet.

“Many people have been asking whether the province is in the third wave or not. The answer is that, at this stage, we will say no,” Zikalala said.

Zikalala said a 10% increase in cases over a seven-day moving average will trigger an alert, while a 20% increase in cases over a seven-day moving average will trigger resurgence, which may indicate that the province is entering a third wave of Covid-19 infections.

He said the latest information gathered was that over the past 24 hours, the province has recorded 227 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 340,586.

He said the total number of deaths in the province is 10,533.

Zikalala said the province continued to observe an increase in the number of new cases recorded weekly and this was concerning.

The number of new cases was 726 for week 21 and 900 for week 22.

Amajuba was the only district that had reported a reached alert line and cases have been slightly increasing in the last three weeks, he said.

Zikalala said eThekwini has also been recording the highest number of cases, though it has not reached the alert line.

“Our strategy to deal with the potential third wave stands on the following pillars: testing all Covid-19 suspected cases and their contacts, isolation of confirmed cases, monitoring of those who are self-isolating, tracing all contacts of the confirmed cases, dedicating beds for quarantine and isolation as well as ICU, ensuring oxygen availability (and) accelerating vaccination,” Zikalala said.

He said even though Covid-19 has not reached the third wave in KwaZulu-Natal, the public should remain vigilant and acutely aware of the potential risk of resurgence of infections.

“It is crucial for us to adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands regularly with soap or water or use sanitiser.

“Our memories are still fresh and we have barely recovered from the tragic episodes of the first and the second wave.”

Zikalala said of those who were vaccinated, 237,195 were senior citizens above 60 and 123,256 were healthcare workers.

“Though there is always room for improvement, we are quite pleased with how the rate of vaccination has been proceeding in the province, from our 124 vaccination sites so far that we have created and 18 in the private sector.”

Zikalala said the department of health in the province will open a further 21 new vaccination sites this week to accommodate teachers being vaccinated.

The province will be receiving about 110,400 J&J vaccines for this category.

“We already have a database for these educators. These educators will be guided by the management in their respective districts and circuits as to which site to go to.”

TimesLIVE

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.