South Africa-Health-Coronavirus

S/Africa extends Covid-19 state of disaster

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South Africa’s National State of Disaster on Covid-19 has been extended to 15 February this year, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has announced.

Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday the extension took into account the need to continue using the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state and all other role players to mitigate against the impact of the disaster on lives and livelihoods. 

The country is going through a fourth wave of the pandemic with the highly transmissible omicron variant, but the mutant virus has been less severe for people with injections -- and requiring no hospitalisation for the majority of those vaccinated.

“We urge all South Africans to heed the call by our government to be vaccinated as it is through mass vaccination that we will be able to achieve herd immunity and ultimately protect lives and livelihoods,” the minister said in a statement.

She added: “All people are therefore urged to continue adherence to Covid-19 regulations by wearing face masks at all times, social distancing, avoiding closed and poorly ventilated spaces, large gatherings and washing hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.”

Meanwhile, the total number of recorded Covid-19-related fatalities in the country soared to 93,117 – with an additional 128 deaths reported on Friday.

“Of these, 59 occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

It added: “Today the institute reports 5,244 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,552,043 people.”

The majority of new cases were from the Western Cape province (26%), followed by Gauteng (20%) and KwaZulu-Natal (19%) provinces, the NICD said.

There was an increase of 274 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, the institute said. 

NM/jn/APA

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