· Children and adolescents now account for 9.2% of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3.9% of all COVID-19 associated hospital admissions, a total of 5,743 admissions since the start of the pandemic. There have been 152 in-hospital deaths of under 19-year olds.
· UNICEF’s #TheTruck multimedia activation visited urban areas across Gauteng province, including Johannesburg, and Tshwane Metropolitan areas. The COVID-19 prevention messaging campaign, including community engagement, took place at the height of the holiday travel period and included stops at busy toll plazas, as well as informal settlements.
· Preparations for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines and the subsequent roll out gathered pace, with UNICEF supporting the training of health workers, who are in line to receive their first shots in mid-February.
• As of 31 January 2021, South Africa reported nearly 1,5 million cases of COVID-19, with 44,164 deaths (case fatality rate of 3%).
• Due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the President declared an adjusted Level-3 lockdown with effect from the 29 December. The second wave of COVID-19 infections has been largely driven by a newly identified and more transmissible variant 501.V2 of the SARS-COV-2 virus.
• The country is planning to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine in three phases starting with the 1.25 million health workers who are expected to start receiving shots as of the second week of February. The first vaccines (Astra Zeneca from Serum Institute) arrive in-country at the beginning of February.
• South Africa is aiming to vaccinate 67% of the population during 2021, some 40 million eligible people. This includes procurement of vaccines through the UNICEF supported COVAX facility for 10 percent of the population.