COVID claims 289 lives as 18-34 cohort renew hope for increase in vaccine uptake

In the latest update, 289 more people have passed away from COVID-19 related complications, with 14, 312 new COVID-19 cases recorded in the past 24-hour reporting cycle

FILE: Undertakers carry a coffin during the funeral proceedings for a COVID-19 coronavirus victim at a mosque in Cape Town, on 16 June 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The health department has reported that 289 more people have passed away from COVID-19 related complications in the past 24-hour reporting cycle.

These fatalities bring our known death toll to 78,983.

At the same time, the coronavirus infection rate remains high, with 14, 312 new COVID-19 cases recorded in the last day.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said this increase represents a 21.6% positivity rate.

This comes as the 18 to 34 age category gets their jabs.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said it is hoped that if the goal of vaccinating 70% of this category is achieved, the country can achieve herd immunity.

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On the vaccination front, 10,431,124 vaccines have been administered.

Discovery has encouraged Johannesburg residents to keep the momentum going of getting vaccinated.

On Friday the institution opened its doors in Sandton to the 18- to 34-year-old age group for the vaccination rollout.

Many people shared their experiences on social media.

Head of Discovery's COVID-19 task team Dr Ron Whelan said he was confident that vaccinations would speed up.

“South Africa has already vaccinated over 10 million people, and that’s very exciting. Ten million people rolled up their sleeves, [they] have already been vaccinated, and I am confident that we can sustain that momentum particularly when you look around at the excitement and the exuberance of the 18 to 34 category; I think they are going to inject some immunity into the system.”

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