JOHANNESBURG: South Africa on Wednesday set a new daily Covid-19 infections record with 21 832 new cases.
This has pushed the country’s cumulative number of cases to 1 149 591.
The Department of Health also reported that 844 people have died after contracting the virus.
The recovery rate has dropped to 80% with 929 239 people having recuperated so far.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said 844 more people died from Covid-19 on Wednesday.
“Today we have reached a grim milestone as we breach 20 000 for new cases identified in 24 hours”. Mkhize said
The latest daily tally of 21 832 cases pushes the cumulative total number of infections since the start of the pandemic in SA to 1 149 591 cases and 31 368 deaths so far.
Mkhize on Wednesday evening said that the positivity rate – being an indicator of the rapidity of the spread of the virus – dropped to 80% which was of “major concern”.
Of the 844 people who died on Wednesday, 452 were from Eastern Cape,12 in the Free Stae. 92 Gauteng,65 in Kwazulu Natal, 11 in Limpopo, eight in Mpumalanga, 46 Nothern West, five Northen Cape and 149 in Western Cape.
While the 452 deaths reported in the Eastern Cape are a result of backlog data reconciliation between May and November 2020. Mkhize said the department was engaging the province to investigate the details of the reporting backlog.
Meanwhile, Lesotho has joined other countries in effecting strict Covid-19 restristions as authorities announce tighter lockdown measures which took effect from 6 January. Schools have been closed while sports have been banned after a surge in cases.
While South Africa still doesn’tknow when it will start rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine, Nigeria is one of the African countries that will receive the vaccine soon. On Wednesday Nigeria said it was expecting to obtain its first shipment of a Covid-19 vaccine in January.
A committee has been set up to select the vaccine most suitable for the country against the virus, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement.
He said that since different temperatures are required to preserve vaccines, they must choose the most appropriate one from the existing vaccines.
Nigeria has signed up with the Global Vaccine Alliance Initiative (Gavi) for access to vaccines, said Ehanire, adding that they have also registered for Covid-19 vaccines with the Global Access Programme (COVAX) co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Nigerian minister had earlier announced that the government would receive 20 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
More than 75 000 cases have been detected in Nigeria so far while 1 200 people have died due to the virus.