Sister Daniels conducting a test on a patient as Covid-19 Community screening and testing has begun at Scottsdene clinic in Kraaifontein. Swabs in individual cylinders and bags ready to be sent away to the lab. Two swabs are necessary for Covid-19 testing, one from your nose and one from your throat. Testing is critical for infected people to get the treatment they need and for health officials to accurately track the spread of the coronavirus. Picture:Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
Sister Daniels conducting a test on a patient as Covid-19 Community screening and testing has begun at Scottsdene clinic in Kraaifontein. Swabs in individual cylinders and bags ready to be sent away to the lab. Two swabs are necessary for Covid-19 testing, one from your nose and one from your throat. Testing is critical for infected people to get the treatment they need and for health officials to accurately track the spread of the coronavirus. Picture:Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Covid-19 weekly roundup: SA’s daily positivity rate jumps slightly

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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Cape Town - After remaining consistently below 5% for the past 3 weeks, South Africa’s daily test positivity rate has jumped to more than 9%.

The Covid-19 third wave, which had been predicted to hit the country after the long Easter weekend has not yet materialised. However, scientists have noticed a slight increase in the number of new infections.

Dr Ridhwaan Suliman, from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, said it would take around 10 to 14 days to determine whether Easter gatherings would increase case numbers.

He said there were clear signs that an "Easter wave" could be driven by a resurgence in three of the smaller provinces – the Northern Cape, the Free State and the North West.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform, said South Africa needed to increase some of the public health response which includes testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation.

Sahpra recommends pause be lifted for J&J vaccine

Over the past weekend, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) recommended the government lift the pause on administering Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccines to health-care workers.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a pause on the issuing of the vaccine over “potentially dangerous” blood clotting concerns.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on the same day, that the roll-out part of the Sisonke Implementation study would be temporarily suspended.

Six women in the US developed a rare blood-clotting disorder after getting the vaccine. One case was fatal and one remains in critical care.

Sahpra said that it had been reviewing data from Johnson & Johnson’s local research study and found no major safety concerns.

Covid-19 vaccine registration open for over 60s

South African citizens who would like to receive a Covid-19 vaccine and are over the age of 60 are able to register through the Electronic Vaccination Data System.

Registration opened on Friday. The vaccines will be rolled out in two phases – on May 17 and October 17.

With self-registration, individuals would have to log into a web portal and register themselves. Those who are unable to self-register could visit walk-in centres and vaccination sites.

To register, people need to have access to the internet, their ID number or passport, and general contact information, including a cellphone number.

If you are unable to register by these methods, you may go to the nearest vaccination centre and you will be registered on the spot.

Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories.

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