KwaZulu-Natal will this week open a further 21 new COVID-19 vaccination sites to accommodate teachers, who will be vaccinated from Wednesday, 09 June 2021.
Addressing the media on the latest developments regarding COVID-19 and other related matters on Sunday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said the province will be receiving 110 400 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for this category.
“We already have a database for these educators, which should make their vaccination easier. These educators will be guided by management in their respective districts and circuits, regarding which sites to go to, in order to get vaccinated.
“Some districts will open new sites, where sites don’t already exist; while others will have to designate their existing sites accordingly, to accommodate the teachers. We’re also exploring the possibility of opening these vaccination sites on weekends, because educators work Monday to Friday,” Zikalala said.
High numbers of infections in schools concerning
The Premier also raised concerns about a few schools which have reported high numbers of infections within a space of a few days.
“On Friday, one school under Umzinyathi District reported 16 positive cases of learners. Another school under Uthukela District reported 15 positive cases of learners,” Zikalala said.
He said the Department of Education will continue to implement COVID-19 protocols and to provide necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other forms of support.
Although there is always room for improvement, Zikalala said the provincial government is quite pleased with how the rate of vaccination has been proceeding in the province.
“From our 124 vaccination sites so far created in the public sector and 18 in the private sector, we have managed to vaccinate a total of 360 451 people in the province. This is made up of 237 195 senior citizens aged 60 and above, and 123 256 health workers,” Zikalala said.
Over 300 000 cases recorded
The Premier said the province continues to observe an increase in the number of new cases recorded weekly. A total of 340 586 confirmed COVID -19 cases, with 10 534 deaths have been recorded in the province.
Zikalala noted that the overall percentage change in the number of new cases between week 21 and 22 was 24%.
“The actual number of new cases were 726 for week 21; and 900 for week 22 respectively. Amajuba District is the only District that has reached alert line and cases have been slightly increasing in the three previous weeks.
“eThekwini has also been receiving the highest number of cases, although it has not reached the alert line. eThekwini continues to contribute the highest percentage of deaths, at 36% (3 843). Of the total deaths, 212 (2%) occurred at home,” the Premier said.
No third wave at this stage
Zikalala said KwaZulu-Natal is not entering a third wave of COVID–19, at this stage.
“In terms of our emergency early warning systems, a 10% increase in cases over a seven day moving average will trigger an alert; while a 20% increase in cases over a seven day moving average will trigger resurgence, which may indicate that we are entering a third wave of COVID–19 infections,” the Premier noted.
He said the provincial government continues to monitor trends and signals of a resurgence in the province.
“Our focus is on identifying clusters and conducting targeted testing in the affected areas; identifying and strengthening contact tracing; intensifying our risk communication drive, with an emphasis on non-pharmaceutical interventions.”
The provincial strategy to deal with the potential third wave stands on the following pillars:
- Testing all COVID–19 suspected cases and their contacts;
- Isolation of confirmed cases;
- Monitoring of those who are self-isolating;
- Tracing all contacts of the confirmed cases;
- Dedicating beds for quarantine (PUIs), isolation and ICU;
- Ensuring oxygen availability; and
- Accelerating vaccinations.
Zikalala also called on techno savvy citizens to assist the elderly and people in rural areas with registration for vaccination.
“We have directed that all MEC Champions, Mayors and Operation Sukuma Sakhe War Rooms dedicate a week in their respective districts and wards to monitor and facilitate registration for vaccinations. Each one must register one!” Zikalala said. – SAnews.gov.za