KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the province has recorded a 50% decline in new COVID-19 infections from week 40 to 42 in 2021.

Zikalala was addressing the media virtually on the latest developments around the coronavirus in the province.

The Premier says the decrease occurred across the province with the Ilembe, uThukela, and Zululand districts experiencing declines of more than 60%.

“Our COVID-19 numbers on deaths, hospitalisation are relatively low. Our province has continued to observe a remarkable decline in the number of new cases in the past few weeks. In fact, over the past week, the overall percentage changed in the number of new cases between week 40 and 42 was 50%, which in other words a 50% decline.”

Zikalala says in the last 24 hours, KwaZulu-Natal only recorded one COVID-related death.

“The number of daily admissions has continued to decline in both public and private sectors. With regard to fatalities as of the latest 24 hour reporting period, the province reported one new covid related death. This has brought to 14 704 the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in our province since the beginning of the pandemic.”

The provincial government has also expressed concern over the large number of residents who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Currently, there are 2.9 million people have received vaccines in the province – this is only 29% of the population.

State of readiness for LGE

Meanwhile, the Premier also commented on the province’s state of readiness for free, fair, and peaceful local government elections on November the first.

As municipal election campaigns are in full swing, Zikalala has called on political parties to campaign responsibly, ensuring peace and unity among communities.

Last week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) was criticised about a controversial poster in Phoenix that read: The African National Congress (ANC) called you racist; the DA calls you heroes. The DA has since removed this poster.

About 36 people were killed in Phoenix during the unrest in July, which sparked racial tensions in this area.

Zikalala also urged political parties and eligible voters to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations.

“We have noted a number of disturbing developments concerning election campaigns of certain political parties. Some of these campaigns have been opportunistic while others have sought divisions between communities. We wish to appeal to all political parties to behave responsibly, humble themselves and preach the gospel of unity. Avoid potential super spreaders remain import even during the time of elections.”