Your Covid-19 questions answered

Has SA's Covid-19 infection rate decreased in line with government's expectations?

Health minister Joe Phaahla outlined his department's targets. File photo.
Dr Joe Phaahla Health minister Joe Phaahla outlined his department's targets. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The Department of Health hoped that by the end of February the positivity rate of Covid-19 infections would be lower than 5%, saying it is its “greatest disappointment” that it is not. 

Health minister Joe Phaahla said the past two weeks have seen 12 districts across the country record spikes in Covid-19 infections compared to the previous two weeks. 

Phaahla was speaking during an online media briefing on the government's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Our major disappointment is that the number of infections is that they have not declined as steadily as we had wished for. We had hoped that by the time we reach the end of February, we would be at less than 5% positivity. Twelve of the 52 districts have seen spikes in infections which is leading to a plateau in the curve of infections instead of a complete flattening and decline,” said Phaahla. 

The minister said the positivity rate was between 7% and 10% in the past four weeks.

Phaahla said below 5% in daily infections would signal that the pandemic is under control.

The minister called on all eligible South Africans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Gauteng recently reached a milestone of 9-million vaccinations, but due to its high population has not yet reached the 50% mark in vaccinations, said Phaahla. 

“Our biggest drawback remains the young people aged 18-34 who are only at 34% coverage, with only 29.3% full vaccinations. We need at least five million more of this age group so they could push their coverage to at least 50%, which will also push the national coverage closer to at least 60%,” said Phaahla. 


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