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The country recorded 1 372 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 18 deaths.

A total of 1 562 931 infections have been logged in the country since the pandemic began in March last year, with 53 571 deaths.

Of the latest fatalities, 20 were reported in KwaZulu-Natal, 16 in Gauteng, 13 in the Eastern Cape, eight in Limpopo, six in the Free State, five in the Western Cape, four in Mpumalanga and one in the Northern Cape.

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

The recovery rate is still holding steady at 95% after 1 488 060 people beat COVID-19, while there are currently 21 300 active cases.

The information is based on 10 259 664 tests conducted of which 43 550 were performed in the last 24 hours.

More vaccines

South Africa is working with various drug makers to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

This as the country suspended the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paused the rollout of the vaccine following reports of a rare clotting condition in six people out of 6.8 million doses administered.

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who addressed the media during a tour of the Durban Port yesterday, government is in talks with China, Russia, Cuba and European countries.

“We’re not the only country that is encountering setbacks when it comes to vaccines. Our objective as government has always been to protect the lives of South Africans and we will continue to do so.

“As it is now, we’re procuring vaccines from a number of areas.”

President Ramaphosa said he hopes that the halt in the J&J rollout will not be for too long, as scientists look at the efficacy of the vaccine.

“Already Pfizer will be arriving. Sputnik will also be arriving, as well as Sinopharm. We procure vaccines from all over but the important thing is to protect the lives of South Africans.”

Addressing the media this week, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said he believes that the matter will be cleared in a few days.

However, if there are delays, there would be no significant impact on the entire rollout programme after the country secured an additional 10 million doses from Pfizer, which increases the number to 30 million.

The first batch is expected to arrive next month.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are now 137 866 311 global confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 965 707 deaths, 734 121 870 vaccine doses have been administered.


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