DURBAN – Since the start of the roll-out in the province last week, just under 1280 health care workers have already been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said. Zikalala was speaking yesterday during a provincial Covid-19 update. He noticed that no complications were encountered by any of the health workers who received the vaccine “A renewed sense of positivity, trust and feeling more protected against Covid-19 has been reported by these workers.” Amid the apprehension and anxiety they had encountered when depending only on non-pharmaceutical preventive measures, Zikalala said this was a huge psychological boost.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Zikalala has stated that more than 15,800 employees in the public sector have been infected, of which 55% are health care workers. And 335 of them died. Zikalala warned that the public should note that there was a risk of a third wave when the second wave was subsiding. The time to lower our guards or be complacent is not now. There’s always Covid-19 here and it’s lethal. Breaking further down the Covid-19 figures in KZN, Zikalala said KZN reported 313 new Covid-19 cases on February 20. 33 percent of these cases were registered in EThekwini district, followed by uMgungundlovu at 17 percent and UThukela at 12 percent, among others.
He said KZN had the country’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases, contributing 326 7033 cases (22 percent of the total number of cases). Zikalala noted, however, that KZN continued to see a decrease in the number of new cases weekly. The premier said the province’s overall recovery ratio was 93 percent. As of February 19, more than 1500 patients were admitted to both public and private hospitals, with over 1100 in private facilities and over 360 in public facilities. Of those admitted, Zikalala said 278 needed intensive care facilities, with private hospitals taking care of more ICU individual.