The Eastern Cape has recorded the highest number of Covid-19-related deaths in the country in the last 24-hours as plans for vaccine roll-out are laid out.
As of Thursday, the province had recorded the second-highest number of Covid-19-related deaths at 139, after KwaZulu-Natal’s highest fatalities at 154 and Western Cape with 137 deaths.
This brings the country’s total number of deaths to 39 501 since the start of the pandemic. South Africa has recorded 1 380 807 infection cases.
The Eastern Cape has the highest number of deaths in the country, with 9 855, followed by Western Cape 9 591 and Gauteng with 7 230.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said recoveries stood at 1 183 443, representing a recovery rate of 85.7%.
The high number of deaths in the Eastern Cape can be attributed to the second wave of the pandemic having started in the province after a new strain of the virus was detected there.
However, the province continues to see a decrease in the number of new cases.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane said they had heightened the implementation of the resurgence plan with emphasis on the clinical response, community engagements for compliance and increased police visibility especially in areas with high risk of public gatherings.
“Our province has recorded the lowest daily new cases in the country over the last seven days – at an average of 13% per 100 000 population,” he said
The premier announced the provincial government was targeting to vaccinate at least 3.7 million people, with healthcare workers and vulnerable people with comorbidities being prioritised.
Government has developed a strategy to ensure equitable access to vaccines and it includes various purchasing and funding mechanisms, local manufacturing opportunities and identifying priority groups for vaccination, said Mabuyane.
The vaccines procurement would be done by the national health department and the province would procure ancillary supplies.
He said the vaccination programme would be conducted over six to nine months depending on the delivery schedules of the vaccines.
“Similar to the Electoral Commission of SA election programme, the department of education will make schools accessible, churches and community centres will be used as vaccination sites.
“Temporary vaccination centres will also be established at key points such as municipal offices, buildings, malls, taxi ranks, private doctors, pharmacies, private hospitals, non-government organisation clinics to make it more accessible.
“Mobile services will also be used. The vaccine roll-out will be led nationally, in close coordination with the Eastern Cape department of health and the private health care sector,” said Mabuyane.