53 Covid-19 deaths and 1267 new infections for SA
Johannesburg - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed 53 more Covid-19 deaths, taking South Africa’s death toll to over 53 226. He also said 1267 more people had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mkhize also said more than 288 368 healthcare workers had now been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol.
Under the Sisonke Protocol, the South African government is administering vaccines to healthcare workers in the public and private sector through an early access study.
Recently, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines for emergency use.
In approving the Pfizer vaccine, Sahpra added in a statement that the approval was subject to further efficacy and safety surveillance of the vaccine in the country, including monitoring its efficacy against the dominant local coronavirus variant.
In approving the J&J vaccine, Sahpra said data from the Phase 3 J&J study showed the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine was well tolerated and demonstrated a 67% reduction in symptomatic Covid-19 disease in participants who received the vaccine in comparison to participants given the placebo.
Mkhize this week confirmed the government had now secured a total of 51 million vaccine doses from J&J and Pfizer.
South Africa is expected to kick start its mass vaccination programme from May, with people over 60, essential services and people on chronic medication, legible for the vaccine in the second phase.
Meanwhile, in terms of the 53 deaths recorded on Friday, Mkhize said the most deaths were from the Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng and the Northern Cape.
Western Cape - 16
Free State - 12
Gauteng - 11
Northern Cape - 10
KZN - 2
Limpopo - 2
More than 1.48 million people who have had the virus in South Africa, have recovered.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased,” said Mkhize.