To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Sunday, 31 July 2022
Health Department announces the end of COVID-19 daily reporting
Pretoria: The National Department of Health and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, have been steadfastly reporting COVID-19 surveillance data on a daily basis since 2020 in order to keep the South African public abreast with regards to the pandemic situation.
However, due to the reduced severity and transmissibility of the disease at the current moment, coupled with declining COVID-19 case numbers, the department together with the NICD have reassessed the existing reporting structures, and agreed that it is justifiable to allow majority of members of the reporting structures return to their permanent jobs on a full time basis.
Thus, this means the department will, with effect from 01 August 2022, publish the COVID-19 surveillance data on a weekly basis, but continue to closely monitor the situation.
The department would also like to thank all individuals, teams and stakeholders whose sacrifices, commitment and contribution made it possible for government to keep the public up-to-date with crucial information required to enable people and organisations make informed health and safety decisions.
Although, this doesn’t mean the pandemic is over and the vaccination services will remain accessible at designated sites, including at some public health facilities.
Thus, until such time that the World Health Organization announce that the pandemic is over, we urge people to vaccinate and continue to do everything possible to keep themselves safe against the current and future variants of concern.
Meanwhile, the NICD supports the decision and concur that the current phase of the pandemic no longer requires daily COVID-19 updates. The public should be mindful that disease trends and weekly surveillance data largely inform health policies.
Therefore, the NICD remains committed to its surveillance activities and will continue reporting COVID-19 surveillance data as per normal, with the data being published in the existing weekly surveillance reports.