Health MEC Maruping Lekwene has also noted that 4,343 health care workers have so far received their Covid-19 vaccinations
THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, has noted a “steady stabilisation” in the incidence of Covid-19 cases in the Province over the past seven weeks.
Lekwene said that the past week’s decline in Covid cases was the seventh weekly decline in succession.
He added that there was also a significant decline in Covid-19-related hospitalisations, where intensive care unit admissions had decreased by 24 percent.
“Our annual target is to vaccinate 67 percent of the population in order to achieve community immunity. This equates to almost 900,000 people being vaccinated in a three-phased approach that begins with the most vulnerable,” said Lekwene.
As of March 13, a total of 4,343 health care workers, in both the public and private sector, have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, through the Sisonke early access programme.
Lekwene noted that the Province had received the first batch of Johnson and Johnson vaccines on February 18, 2021 at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe hospital in Kimberley and all these vaccines have been used. “We are expecting another allocation shortly.”
He said that Mediclinic Upington has been identified as the second vaccination site for both private and public health care workers in the Province was expecting its second allocation of just over 360 vaccine doses at the start of next week.
“On Sunday, February 28, the facility received just over 320 vaccine doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and vaccination started on March 1.”
“A second allocation of just over 360 doses was received at the start of the week.”
Lekwene assured the community that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is “safe” and provides 57 percent protection against moderate disease, 95 percent protection against severe disease and 100 percent protection against death.
“Since the start of the vaccination programme, no reports were received of any moderate to serious complications following vaccination.”
Lekwene also commended the vaccination teams for “their sterling work and expressed his appreciation and satisfaction on the seamless process undertaken”.
He thanked health care workers for “exercising patience and adhering to strict prioritisation and control protocols at the vaccination sites”.
“Vaccination depends actively on the constant availability and supply of the vaccine doses.
“Once the Sisonke Study is complete, the Johnson and Johnson and other vaccines will be rolled out to all health care workers under phase 1.
“All health care workers are therefore urged to use the government’s EVDS system to register https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. This process assists in the management of vaccine allocations and queues management.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, meanwhile announced an additional 84 people testing positive for Covid-19 in the Northern Cape as of March 13, bringing the cumulative total to 34,718 people.
He said that the Pixley ka Seme District had reported the highest number of positive cases at 23, followed by Frances Baard with 19 cases, 17 cases in Namakwa, 16 cases in ZF Mgcawu and eight cases in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, while one case was unallocated.
The total number of deaths in the Northern Cape due to Covid-19 complications stands at 781.
Mkhize said there are 1,917 active cases in the Province and an average recovery rate of 92 percent.
More Johnson and Johnson vaccines are expected to arrive in the country next week, he said.