South Africa has recorded 4 525 new Covid-19 cases and 213 deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday.
“As of today the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified on South Africa is 1 453 761 with4 525 new cases identified since the last report,” Mkhize said.
“Regrettably, 213 more Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, with 95 deaths in the Eastern Cape, 8 in the Free State, 58 in Gauteng, 23 in KwaZulu-Natal, 17 in Mpumalanga, 4 in the Northern Cape and 8 in the Western Cape. This brings the total to 44 164 deaths.”
Recoveries now stand at 1 299 620, representing a recovery rate of 89%.
The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 8 279 200 with 34 076 new tests recorded since the last report.
The latest statistics come as President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, are set to receive South Africa’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.
The first shipment of 1 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday.
The vaccines are travelling on an Emirates plane via Dubai, and will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.
Mkhize has previously said the vaccines would first have to go through strict quality assurance and stock control over a period of 10 to 14 days, before they are distributed across the country’s nine provinces.
A second shipment of 500 000 doses from SII is expected to arrive later in February.
The Health Department aims to vaccinate around 40 million people by the end of the year, equating to around 67% of the population. If the target is met, top scientists say the country would have achieved population immunity.
The first phase of this rollout programme will prioritise around 1.2 million frontline health workers.
“The arrival of the first consignment at OR Tambo International Airport marks the start of the vaccine rollout which President Ramaphosa describes as the largest and most complex logistical vaccine undertaking in South Africa’s country’s history,” the Presidency said on Sunday.