South Africa
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Covid-19 update: SA records 733 new cases and 56 deaths

As of Friday, South Africa has recorded a total of 2.915,560 positive cases of Covid-19, with 733 new cases identified since the last report.

This increase represents a 2.3% positivity rate.

The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (22%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal accounting for 20%. Gauteng accounted for 15%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 11% respectively; North West accounted for 7%; Mpumalanga and Northern Cape each accounted for 5% respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 4% of today’s new cases, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

As per the National Department of Health, a further 56 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 88,562 to date.

18,122,698 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors as per the table below.

There has been an increase of 67 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

South Africa to start jabs for kids as young as 12

South Africa will begin vaccinating children as young as 12 next week and also offer Covid-19 boosters against certain immune disorders, the health minister announced Friday.

With a large youth population and the world’s biggest HIV caseload, the announcement affects millions of people and marks a significant scaling up of South Africa’s pandemic response.

“We ready to open up vaccination for children between 12-17 years of age, and a majority of this cohort are in the secondary or high school level,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla told a news conference.

Under South African law, children aged 12 and up can give their own consent for medical treatment, meaning they don’t need parental permission to get the vaccine.

Starting Wednesday, children can receive a single Pfizer dose, with a second shot delayed to allow for further study on a rare side effect, the minister added. 

More than one third of all adults in South Africa have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the minister added.

The country has launched a digital vaccine certificate scheme. Proof of vaccination is required to enter larger gatherings such as sporting events.

For the immune compromised, Phaahla said they can begin receiving boosters, but only on advice from their doctor.

Additional reporting by AFP