The majority of new cases were from KwaZulu-Natal followed by the Western Cape. Another 170 people have died. The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla says Alert level 3 of the lockdown will remain in place, as the third wave of the pandemic remains stubbornly in our midst. The number of new infections increased last week by 18-point-2% over a 7-day period. KwaZulu-Natal and the Western-, Eastern- & Northern Cape provinces are driving the resurgence.
Premier Alan Winde has meanwhile thanked young people 18 years and older, who all went for vaccinations on Friday, when the new age group bracket opened.
At the same time, the Western Cape Department of Health says although the 18-plus age band is now open for vaccination, it remains committed to ensuring the most vulnerable are prioritized. Spokesperson, Maret Lesch says people with comorbidities and older than 35 will be helped first in the walk-in queues.
Further afield, the novel coronavirus has killed 4-point-4-million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019. The WHO estimates that the pandemic’s overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19. More than 211 million infections have been recorded globally, with the vast majority having recovered from the illness.
And, the Food and Drug Administration is pushing to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine today, further expediting an earlier timeline for licensing the shot. Regulators were working to finish the process by Friday but were still working through a substantial amount of paperwork and negotiation with the company.