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Health Department Gives Update on COVID-19

September 16, 2020

Department of Health

The health department is to recommend easing restrictions in various aspects of the COVID-19 lockdown such as the curfew, sale of alcohol, religious gatherings and travel restrictions.

In a statement, the department confirmed that evidence observed “suggests a sustained decline in Coronavirus transmission”.

The recommendations will be made to the National Coronavirus Command Council which will, in turn, make final recommendations to cabinet.

The department emphasized, however, that whatever decisions are made, it is “important to emphasize that the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19 still remains and that non-pharmaceutical interventions remain important as we learn to co-exist with the Coronavirus”.

The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in South Africa currently stands at 15 499.

As of 11 September, a cumulative total of 32 429 health care workers had been detected with Coronavirus with 257 succumbing to the disease.

Recoveries now stand at 579 289 translating to a recovery rate of 88.9%.

Since 22 August under 3000 cases a day have been reported.

A demonstrable decline in persons under investigation, general ward admissions, ICU admissions, deaths and excess deaths has also been observed.

The percentage of beds currently occupied by COVID-19 patients nationally is under 10% for non ICU beds and under 30% for ICU beds.

The department also announced that, following the changing pattern of the pandemic, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has been reconfigured.

“The new MAC will take into account the need for the inclusion of social and behavioural scientists amongst other factors.”

The department indicated that another MAC on Vaccine has been set up to focus on Coronavirus vaccine development.

“This MAC will advise us on all matters pertaining to the Coronavirus vaccine development and rollout- from monitoring and reporting on progress on our candidate studies, to advising on our purchasing options and our capacity to potentially manufacture vaccines in future.”