Cape Town – The cumulative number of identified Covid-19 cases in South Africa to date is 1,278,303, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.
Mkhize did not specify the number of new infections recorded in a statement, but that means 18,555 new cases have been identified since the last report. A total of 13,105 new cases were reported Tuesday after 15,046 new cases on Monday and 17,421 on Sunday, following a peak of 21,862 last Friday.
A total of 806 new deaths linked to Covid-19 have been recorded (755 people are believed to have died on Tuesday): Eastern Cape 150, Free State 24, Gauteng 211, KwaZulu-Natal 235, Limpopo 14, Mpumalanga 14, Northern Cape 7 and Western Cape 151. This brings the total number of deaths to 35,140.
The number of recoveries now stands at 1,030,930, ie a recovery rate of 80.6%. The cumulative total of tests carried out to date is 7,358,741, including 76,881 new tests carried out since the last report
The first week of 2021 produced a record number of deaths in the country, the Medical Research Council (MRC) said on Wednesday.
The previous week’s total of 16,532 – itself a record – was surpassed by 20,063 deaths, according to the MRC’s weekly report on excessive deaths. These are deaths in excess of the number predicted based on trends over the past two years.
During the week of Dec. 30 to Jan. 5, the 10,907 natural deaths exceeded the predicted number by 131%, the MRC said.
In the same week, deaths officially recorded as due to Covid-19 totaled only 2,491, but since excessive deaths were first noted in the Western Cape on May 6, 2020, they have consistently exceeded in number the official deaths from Covid-19.
Deaths from natural causes increased in all provinces in the first week of the year, but the MRC said large increases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Meanwhile, the government of the Eastern Cape has expressed fear of encountering problems with vaccine distribution in remote areas of the province.
The acting head of the provincial health department, Dr Sibongile Zungu, said they are considering using schools as vaccination sites because a large part of the population of the province cannot access health facilities in the area. a radius of 5 km from their place of residence.
Zungu told the parliamentary health portfolio committee on Wednesday that out of the 24,494 communities in South Africa, people in 6,328 of them had to travel more than 5 km to reach a health facility to be vaccinated. . She said 2,873, or 45%, of those communities were in the Eastern Cape.