SA’s Covid-19 death rate slowly climbs towards 50 000
Durban - South Africa’s Covid-19 death rate climbed to 49 784 deaths on Friday after 117 more people succumbed to the virus.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, the cumulative total of tests conducted to date was 9 028 074 with 28 752 new tests recorded since the last report.
Of the latest 114 deaths reported - which has been on the decline this week - 4 were from the Eastern Cape, 0 in the Free State, 59 from Gauteng, 13 from KwaZulu-Natal, 4 from Limpopo, 8 from Mpumalanga, 0 from North West, 12 from the Northern Cape and 17 from the Western Cape.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients,” the department said in a statement.
South Africa’s recoveries now stand at 1 426 417, representing a recovery rate of 94%
The latest data comes in the wake of over 52 000 receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa.
According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, phase one of the country's vaccination program which kicked off last week saw over 52 000 vaccine doses being administered to frontline workers
“Further doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be arriving in the coming weeks, reaching an initial total of 500 000,” Ramaphosa said on Friday.
He said in addition to the 12 million doses South Africa would be receiving through the Covax facility, the country has secured further doses directly from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, the department of health said it planned to inoculate over a million healthcare workers by the end of March.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, told parliament on Thursday that more than a million health-care workers can expect to receive a coronavirus shot by the end of March, after the health department secured a commitment from Pfizer for an initial tranche of 600,000 doses of its double-shot vaccine.
While the plan to immunise so many people in just a month is no small task, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) says the government needs to increase the number of vaccinators and vaccination sites, if it wants to achieve its target.
It is estimated that currently there are about 168 vaccinators, vaccinating approximately 48 people a day – that is six to seven people an hour.
According to experts, the country needs a small army of 6,300 vaccinators, who can inoculate 50 people a day, to reach the overall target of vaccinating 40 million South Africans by the end of the year.