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The novel Coronavirus has claimed more than 45 000 lives since the first case was reported in March last year.

This is after 398 more COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Wednesday, pushing the death toll to 45 344.

Of the latest fatalities, 138 are from KwaZulu-Natal, 97 in Gauteng, 67 in the Western Cape, 46 in the Eastern Cape, 21 in Mpumalanga and 12 in Free State.

Two provinces recorded single-digit deaths — nine in the Northern Cape and eight in Limpopo.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, expressed his sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones and thanked the healthcare workers who treated the deceased.

Meanwhile, 4 060 people were confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus, with a positivity rate of 10%.

This brings the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases to 1 463 016 since the outbreak, of which 1 323 680 patients recovered, representing a recovery rate of 90.5%

Active cases continue to decline – from 95 508 to 93 992 since the last report.

The Minister said KwaZulu-Natal has 42 048 people who are currently infected, 13 445 in the Western Cape, 8 884 in the Free State, 8 727 in Gauteng and 7 722 in the North West.

Meanwhile, there are 3 890 active cases in the Northern Cape, 3 571 in Mpumalanga, 3 151 in Limpopo and 2 554 in the Eastern Cape.

Mkhize said 39 596 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total 8 369 287.

Globally, there have been 103 362 039 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 244 713 deaths, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

According to WHO, 3.7 million new cases were reported last week, a 13% decline as compared to the previous week and a decrease in the third consecutive week.

Meanwhile, there were 96 000 new deaths, a 1% decline as compared to the previous week.

“This brings the total number of cases to over 102 million and the total number of deaths to 2.2 million from 222 countries and territories,” the agency said.

All WHO regions, except South-East Asia, reported a drop in new cases.

Although new deaths declined globally by 1%, they rose in the Western Pacific (21%), Eastern Mediterranean (9%), and the Americas (4%).

30 January 2021 marked one year since WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

“At that time, there were 9 826 cases in 20 countries, and 213 deaths in one country, of which all were in were in China,” the agency said.  

In the past week, five countries continue to report the highest number of new cases. These are the United States (1 072 287 cases, a 15% decrease), Brazil (364 593 cases, a 1% increase), the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (178 629 cases, a 31% decrease), France (141 092 cases, a 2% increase) and Russia (131 039 cases, a 13% decrease).


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