The daily reporting on Covid-19 that has been underway since 2020 by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) has officially come to an end.
The Ministry of Health announced this on Sunday.
Health ministry spokesman Foster Mohale said reporting was stopped due to a decrease in the severity and transmissibility of the disease, coupled with a decrease in Covid-19 cases.
“The Department, along with the NICD, has reassessed existing reporting structures and agreed that it is entirely justified to allow the majority of reporting structure members to return to their regular jobs on a full-time basis.”
“So this means that from August 1, 2022, the department will release Covid-19 surveillance data on a weekly basis, but will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Mohale said.
Mohale said that although the reports have stopped, this does not mean that the pandemic is over.
He said vaccination services would remain available at designated locations, including some public health facilities.
“Thus, until the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the pandemic, we urge people to get vaccinated and continue to do everything possible to keep themselves safe from current and future options for concern.”
Meanwhile, NICD says it supports this decision and maintains that the current phase of the pandemic no longer requires daily COVID-19 updates.
“The public should be aware that incidence trends and weekly surveillance data greatly influence public health policy. As such, NICD remains committed to its surveillance activities and will continue to provide COVID-19 surveillance data as usual, with data published in existing weekly surveillance reports.”
In April, President Cyril President Cyril announced the end of the national state of distress in an address to the nation.
During the live broadcast, the President stated that the state of distress in the country is “necessary” to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Until the pandemic is over and as long as the virus remains among us, these conditions no longer require us to remain in a national state of distress.”
Ramaphosa indicated that the pandemic would be managed under the National Health Act, hence the decision to end the state of distress.