144 more people succumb to Covid-19, pushing SA’s death toll to 49 667
Durban - South Africa’s Covid-19 death rate climbed to 49 667 on Thursday, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.
The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 8 999 322 with 31 862 new tests recorded since the last report.
Of the latest 144 deaths reported, 7 were from the Eastern Cape, 25 from the Free State, 14 from Gauteng, 10 from KwaZulu-Natal, 22 from Limpopo, 10 from Mpumalanga , 41 from North West, 2 from the Northern Cape and 13 from the Western Cape. This brings the total to 49 667 deaths.
Our recoveries now stand at 1 424 401, representing a recovery rate of 94%.
South Africa aims to vaccinate around 1.1 million people against Covid-19 by the end of March as it ramps up its immunisation programme, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
Addressing Parliament, Mkhize also said authorities might have to inoculate more than their original target of 40 million people to reach herd immunity.
South Africa started rolling out Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) vaccine last week in a research study targeting healthcare workers. Doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to arrive soon.
Mkhize said so far more than 32 000 health workers had been given the J&J shot.
Previously, health authorities said they had secured 20 million doses from Pfizer and 9 million from J&J.
But Mkhize said those numbers were just "opening negotiations" and final volumes were likely to be different. "Once it is finalised we will announce new numbers very soon," he said.
Health advisers had estimated that, to ensure population herd immunity, at least 40 million people needed to be vaccinated.