Health minister Joe Phaahla said on Friday his department not would recommend a relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures from its current level 3, despite an overall downward trend in infections as the country grapples with a third wave.
He said South Africa has thus far only fully vaccinated around four million of its citizens as a wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta variant strains overburdened hospitals and healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, a total 166 902 vaccines were administered on Thursday, bringing the total number of jabs administered in South Africa to 9.2 million, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
The NICD further reported that 14 271 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in South Africa. This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to almost 2.6 million. The majority of new cases reported on Thursday were from the Western Cape (26%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (25%).
A further 473 Covid-19-related deaths were reported, bringing total fatalities to 76 247 to date, said the NICD. — Reported by Wendell Roelf, (c) 2021 Reuters, with additional reporting by SANews