Cape Town – A total of 139 more Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, with KwaZulu-Natal again recording the most fatalities, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Friday.
KwaZulu-Natal recorded 65 deaths (105 yesterday, with the national total 160), 23 in the Eastern Cape, 3 in the Free State, 28 in Gauteng, 4 in Limpopo, 7 in North West, 4 in the Northern Cape and 5 in the Western Cape. This brings the total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 17 547.
The cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases has risen to 688 532, with 1 641 new cases identified since yesterday’s report. The recoveries now stand at 620 081, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 360 105, with 20 419 new tests conducted since the last report.
Meanwhile, China has decided to join a global effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines fairly around the world, while the US is still refusing to commit.
The World Health Organisation launched the Covax programme to ensure that 2 billion vaccine doses can be distributed to those most in need by the end of 2021. So far 157 countries, including China, have signed up.
A poorly developed immune response could possibly lead to Covid-19 reinfection, research suggests.
As Covid-19 spreads, many experts are questioning the validity of the herd immunity theory. Researchers are asking whether it will be possible to stave off Covid-19 as more people develop antibodies.
Lifting lockdown measures while cases remain elevated is unlikely to drive a robust economic recovery, the International Monetary Fund said in a blog post.
Researchers at the organisation found that voluntary quarantining plays a substantial role in stifling a rebound as fears of contracting the coronavirus keeps consumers from boosting economic activity.
While lockdowns present some short-term costs, they "may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing", the IMF said.
Addressing the health crisis "appears to be a pre-condition to allow for a strong and sustained economic recovery", the IMF added.