COVID-19 infections increasing despite third wave downward turn: Phaahla

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Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says coronavirus infections in the country have increased by 18.2% in the last seven days.

In the past 24 hours, around 13 000 new infections were recorded. This comes as the third wave curve is beginning to show a downward trend.

Phaahla told the media in Pretoria that while they remain concerned about the curve picking up, they are, however, encouraged by a drop in hospital admissions.

“So while the curve had started to show a downward trend, it is now picking up again driven largely by the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape but also the Northern Cape which has never gone really down from the second wave. It just went straight into the third wave.”

“Slightly encouraging nevertheless is that hospital admissions have gone down by 5.4%,” added Phaahla.

Health Ministry briefs the media on efforts to fight COVID-19:

We have administered vaccines to 20% of the adult population: Phaahla

Phaahla says South Africa has now administered 10 million COVID-19 vaccinations with over 4.6 million people being fully vaccinated.

He says just over 8 million jabs of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and first doses of Pfizer have been administered.

Phaahla told the media that there is still a long way to go to reach the targetted 70% of the adult population by December.

He says it’s encouraging to have vaccinated 20% of the country’s adult population with at least the first doses without the 18 years old and above group who have become eligible for vaccination on Friday.

“The total number of people with a minimum of at least one jab of Pfizer and also J&J, people who have received either one jab of Pfizer or J&J is just under 8 million which means in terms of the adult population, those who have received one jab are 20% of the adult population. Again, I want to emphasise that we have reached the 20% without admitting the 18 years and over.

COVID-19 vaccinations opened for 18-year-old and older from Friday: