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Cabinet notes decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions, hike in infection reproduction rates

While acknowledging the decline in new COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions and reported deaths, Cabinet has noted the increase in infection reproduction rates.

Addressing the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the executive received a progress report on the vaccination rollout programme from the Department of Health.

The update, he said, included epidemiology – the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health – and surveillance.

“Cabinet noted the decline in new infections, as well as hospital admissions and reported death cases. Cabinet however noted the increase in infection reproduction rates,” he said at a media briefing on Thursday.

The Department of Health he said, has assured Cabinet that more work is being done “to understand and contain the reported school cluster outbreaks, particularly in the Eastern Cape”.

Cabinet also appealed to parents, learners and school governing bodies to ensure strict adherence to the wearing of masks, ventilation, social distancing and handwashing hygiene.

“Strict adherence to the non-pharmaceutical health protocols remains the most effective defence against the spread of the virus,” said Gungubele.

By August 31, the country had administered 12 568 525 COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country.

He said the increased number of vaccination sites, extended vaccination days and the provision of free transport by provinces would result in a significant increase in the number of people who will be fully vaccinated. –

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