Cape Town – A total of 1 404 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday, 43 less than yesterday.
As of today, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 1 517 666, with 96 more deaths (95 yesterday).
Gauteng recorded 27 further deaths, Free State 25, Western Cape 18, KwaZulu-Natal 17, Eastern Cape 5, Mpumalanga 2, Limpopo 1 and Northern Cape 1. No fatalities were recorded in North West.
This brings the total number of deaths to 50 462, with 1 436 010 recoveries, representing a recovery rate of 94.6%.
The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 9 178 323, with 30 799 new tests recorded since the last report.
The South African National Defence Union (Sandu) has asked for drastic action to be taken against those who failed to ensure military health workers were included in the current rollout of the Sisonke vaccination programme.
In a statement, the union alleged that the SA Military Health Services had failed to register military health workers with the Sisonke programme, which is managed by the national Health Department.
Most African countries will kick-start their Covid-19 vaccination programmes by the end of March as efforts to procure doses for the continent’s 1.3 billion people gather pace, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.
The continent faces logistical and financial obstacles to securing all the vaccines it needs, but the WHO-led Covax facility has begun to bear fruit.
“This week Africa has been at the forefront of Covax facility deliveries, finally, with almost 10 million vaccine doses being delivered to 11 countries as of this morning,” WHO Africa’s Matshidiso Moeti told a virtual news conference.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden says decisions to end the required wearing of masks — such as those by governors of Texas and Mississippi — amounted to “Neanderthal thinking” given the rising death toll from the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked if he had a message to Texas and Mississippi, Biden told reporters: “I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody’s realised by now, these masks make a difference.”
The prevalence of Covid-19 infections in England has dropped since January, but the rate of decline has slowed and cases might be on the rise in some areas, researchers at Imperial College London said on Thursday.
The researchers said that national prevalence was 0.49%, down two-thirds from the 1.57% recorded in January, but added that compared to interim findings for February, estimated prevalence had risen in London and the South-East, as well as the East and West Midlands.
Biden Cites ‘Neanderthal Thinking’ After Texas, Mississippi Lift COVID Restrictions