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South Africa’s COVID-19 cases have increased to 1 532 497 after 1 531 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 74 more people succumbed to the infectious disease, which brings the death toll to 51 634.

Of the latest fatalities, 38 are from Gauteng, 15 from the Free State, seven from Mpumalanga, six from the Western Cape, two from the Northern Cape and one each from the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

In addition, the recovery rate stands at 95% after 1 459 056 patients recovered, while 21 807 people are currently battling with COVID-19.

“The cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 524 854 with 34 419 tests completed since the last report.”

Meanwhile, the number of healthcare workers vaccinated stands at 168 413 as of 17 March 2021.

Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO), said there are 120 383 919 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 664 386 deaths.

“As of 16 March 2021, a total of 363 691 238 vaccine doses have been administered,” the WHO added.

Global view

According to the WHO, new infections continue to rise globally, increasing by 10% in the past week to over three million new reported cases.

“The number of new cases peaked in early January 2021 when there were just under five million cases reported in one week. New cases then declined to just under 2.5 million cases by the week commencing 15 February.”

However, the world has been experiencing a surge in the past three weeks.

This week alone, the Americas and Europe continue to account for over 80% of new cases and new deaths, with rises in new cases seen in all regions apart from Africa, the agency reported.

In Africa, the WHO said the incidence rates remained similar to the previous week.

Meanwhile, new deaths on the other hand continue to decline and are now under 60 000, since peaking in the week commencing 18 January, when there were over 95 000 new fatalities in the week.

“The last time when there were fewer than 60 000 new weekly deaths was four months ago, in the week commencing 9 November.”

This week, although new deaths declined globally, they rose in two WHO regions, including the Eastern Mediterranean (by 7%) and the Western Pacific (by 14%).

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from Brazil (494 153 new cases; 20% increase), the United States of America (461 190 new cases; 8% increase), France (161 159 new cases; 12% increase), Italy (155 076 new cases; 12% increase), and India (148 249 new cases; 30% increase).


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