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UNICEF South Africa COVID-19 Situation Report No. 20: January - April 2022

South Africa
Publication date


  • UNICEF continued to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, including direct cold chain support to the Department of Health and through Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) including social listening, data and evidence collection and community mobilisation and engagement. The national vaccination rate is nearing 50% but variations exist, from 36% of youth (18 - 34) vaccinated, to almost 70% of the 60+ cohort.

  • Flooding in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) devastated areas in and around Durban. UNICEF is supporting immediate relief efforts, including WASH, psychosocial support and cash assistance, among others. This is coordinated as part of the UN response, working with government and partners to assess and provide the specific support required. The floods came on the back of widespread unrest that hit parts of KZN in July 2021, the impact of which is still being felt.

Situation Overview

  • On 04 April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lifting of the COVID-19 national state of disaster while “transitional measures” – like the wearing of face masks in indoor public spaces - remain in place for the coming 30 days. This came on the back off Omicron variant driven infections peaking in early January, which saw a higher rate of infection compared to previous waves but lower levels of severe illness and deaths.
  • In April, extreme rain resulted in deadly floods in Kwa Zulu-Natal province. The damage affected ten districts in and around Durban, with more than 430 deaths – including 57 children – and close to 4,000 homes damaged or destroyed. Some 630 schools were damaged, impacting over 370,000 school children. Hospitals, major roads, transportation, and water services were also severely impacted by the flooding and a national state of disaster was declared.
  • The national and provincial government have been providing immediate relief to flood victims, while women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities have been prioritised. In addition, there is a coordinated effort by partners and aid organisations to respond to the emergency.