81 COVID-related deaths have been reported in South Africa over the last 24 hours.
Latest figures show that 18,847 new COVID-19 cases had been identified.
As of today the cumulative number of #COVID19 cases identified in SA is 3 393 109 with 18 847 new cases reported. Today 81 deaths have been reported bringing the total to 90 743 deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 3 085 419 with a recovery rate of 90.9% pic.twitter.com/3rKx5v9F4u
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) December 24, 2021
As millions of South Africans celebrate Christmas, some families grappled with difficult decisions when it came to vaccinations.
Scientists maintained that vaccines were the best way to protect ourselves against severe cases but some South Africans refused to get vaccinated.
In some families this issue has become a flashpoint, dividing loved ones and making Christmas lunch a lot trickier than usual.
The publication asked South Africans how their festivities have been affected.
“I don’t allow anyone not vaccinated at my place,” said one woman.
“I don’t feel comfortable sitting around a Christmas meal with my sister who has not been vaccinated,” said another.
DIVIDED STANCES ON VACCINATION
A South African Christmas traditionally means large gatherings and festivities that go on for days but this year some people are putting the brakes on those plans because of COVID-19.
One woman said although she loved her family dearly, she did not want to risk her young daughter’s health who was not eligible for a vaccine yet.
“I’m still deciding but I don’t want to socialise with people who are not vaccinated. I love my in-laws, but I said I won’t see them if they are not vaxxed.”
Another man said he was vaccinated and to avoid a family feud he would only invite a handful of people to his house.
However, not everyone felt as strongly about avoiding unvaccinated family and friends.
While the world is celebrating Christmas Day – some in isolation in hospital or miles apart in other countries – there will also be those lighting a candle in memory of the loved ones they lost a year ago when there was no vaccine available in South Africa.
GLIMMER OF HOPE
With more than three million cases since that first COVID case in South Africa, the country is taking stock of another tumultuous year of coronavirus waves and restrictions.
2021 started off in the thick of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Within the first week in January, the infection rate rose to over 21,000 new confirmed cases a day.
Exhausted and depressed health care workers were faced with some tough decisions as they juggled a shortage of beds, ventilators, oxygen and most crucially – staff.
“You are wrapping body after body after body on this 12-hour shift. It’s draining,” said one health care workers.
Another remarked, “We are trying to juggle which patients need ICU, it’s a mega juggle whole day.”
GLIMMER OF HOPE
Just weeks later in February, health care workers lined up for the first-ever COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to South Africans under the Sisonke Trial Programme.
There was a rush to get the elderly vaccinated under phase two of the programme and in May just before the predicted third wave – people 60 years and above were lining up for their jab, too.
However, it was a slow start since most elderly people had no transport or money to pay to get to vaccination sites and some believed fake stories about the vaccines – something government didn’t prepare for.
Weeks later the Delta variant raged through the country peaking in July with an average of 24,000 people testing positive for COVID each day.
The death rate also spiked significantly and funeral parlours and crematoriums could hardly keep up with most employees working double shifts.
“The bodies are piling up. We are extremely busy and there is an outcry for more cremation capacity. It’s quite stressful for us working there, working late at night.”
As 2021 wraps up, COVID-19 has hit again – a third time in just a year – with the latest Omicron driving this fourth wave believed to be more transmissible than previous variants.
In other news – MaMKhize speaks on her 20-year-old son Andile marrying 25-year-old Tamia Louw and not Sithelo Shozi who is 27
Rumours have been circulating that she forced her son to get married. But reality TV star, Shauwn Mkhize, better known as MaMKhize, has a message for her haters.
She told the publication she’s happy her son, Andile Mpisane decided to settle down and also happy about her new makoti, Tamia. This after Andile (20) and Tamia (25) got engaged on Friday, 17 December in a ceremony that shocked Mzansi. Learn More