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SA’s Covid-19 deaths rise to 55 260 as country rolls out phase 2 of vaccination programme

Published May 17, 2021


Durban - As South Africa began vaccinating people over 60 years old on Monday, the country’s Covid-19 related deaths reached 55 260, data from the Department of Health revealed.

The department’s daily Covid-19 update also showed that the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa reached 1 615 485.

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This, after the number of tests conducted as of Monday reached 11 134 553.

Of these 19 505 tests were conducted since the last report on Sunday.

The break down of the 50 Covid-19 deaths reported on Monday came from:

  • Eastern Cape 4,
  • Free State 30,
  • Gauteng 6,
  • KwaZulu Natal 0
  • Limpopo 0,
  • Mpumalanga 0,
  • North West 0,
  • Northern Cape 8
  • Western Cape 2
infection rate along with an image preview.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said phase two of the vaccination rollout proceeded reasonably well on Monday despite the challenges experienced in the respective provinces, of which load-shedding and violent protests in the Free State were the most impactful.

“Although most of the sites were able to proceed, a large number of vaccinations were captured on paper and the numbers are still being reconciliated. In addition the numbers vaccinated at old age homes still need to be captured. We will therefore allow for this reconciliation over the course of the next 24 hours and will announce the numbers vaccinated in phase two as from tomorrow (Tuesday). In due course we will launch a public facing dashboard that will publish the numbers near real time,” Mkhize said.

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He noted that a number of sector leaders aged 60 years and above - that included Archbishop Desmond Tutu - came forward to be vaccinated publicly.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude for their patriotism and leadership as we know that this will assist us to build confidence in the vaccines and in the vaccination process. We continue to encourage health care workers, including traditional healers, and citizens 60 years and above to register and attend when they have been invited,” Mkhize said.

The government has set a goal to vaccinate 5 million people by the end of June, Mkhize, said on Sunday.

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