Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that the country has recorded 21 832 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day – the highest number of infections so far.
“Today, we have reached a grim milestone as we breach the 20 000 mark for new cases identified in the last 24 hours. 21 832 new cases have been identified since the last report, bringing the total cumulative COVID-10 cases in South Africa to 1 149 591,” Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday, 6 January 2021.
The second wave of COVID-19 cases is currently underway and it is yet to be determined when the country will see a drop in infections.
In another unpleasant fear, 844 other people in the country died from COVID-19 – which brings the death toll to 31 368.
Of the latest deaths, 452 were in the Eastern Cape, 149 in the Western Cape, 65 in KwaZulu-Natal, 46 in the North West, 12 in the Free State, 11 in Limpopo, eight in Mpumalanga and five in the Northern Cape.
Mkhize said the deaths in the Eastern Cape was a result of data reconciliation dating between May and November 2020.
“This includes analysis of community cases where post-mortem swabs were taken for Covid testing and analysis of clinical records where the diagnosis was unconfirmed at the time of demise. The national department of health is engaging the province to investigate the details of the reporting backlog,” he said.
It all comes as the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) said on Wednesday that the country experienced a weekly record of 16 532 deaths from all causes in the week December 23 to 29, the team monitoring excess deaths during the pandemic said on Wednesday.
“During the week including Christmas, the number of natural deaths exceeded the predicted number by 84%, resulting in an excess of 6,974 deaths from natural causes among persons 1+ years,” the team’s report said.