THE country continues to register high numbers of new coronavirus cases as the latest variant is spreading like a runaway bush fire.

As of Saturday night, 3 December, the country reported the highest numbers of cases since early this year at the height of the third wave with 16 366 and 21 deaths related to the virus. That brought to over three millions cumulative cases since the outbreak of the virus and 89 965 deaths.

The Gauteng health department has reported that cumulative number of recoveries stood just below three million, with the recovery rate at 94.5%.

Gauteng is still the province that is recording the most cases as it drums up its vaccination sites, with the announcement of 258 vaccination sites and free rides to and from vaccination centres by taxis after an agreement with taxi associations.

“It is important for those who are unvaccinated to get their jabs to protect themselves from severe illness, hospitalisation or death in the event that they contract the coronavirus. This is not the time to panic, it’s the time for us all to play our part by vaccinating to reduce the spread of new infections and the impact of the fourth wave. Chances of the virus spreading are reduced when we all get vaccinated,” the department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, speaking during his tour in Ghana, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the only way the continent could speed up vaccinating its people, it should be allowed to manufacture its own vaccines.

“The time has come for us to make products that we can use.”

Ramaphosa is expected to convene the National Coronavirus Council meeting in his return, and already there are fears he might impose stricter regulations or a hard lockdown.