497 Covid-related deaths and 9580 new cases reported in SA
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Cape Town - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported 497 more Covid-19 related deaths in South Africa on Tuesday and 9580 new coronavirus cases.
This brings the total to 27 568 deaths and and the cumulative total of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 1 021 451.
The Western Cape recorded 158 Covid-related deaths on Tuesday, the Eastern Cape 137 , Free State 3, Gauteng 68, KwaZulu-Natal 114, Limpopo 13, Mpumalanga 2, and the Northern Cape 2.
Recoveries currently stand at 858 456. This represents a recovery rate of 84%.
A total of 6 500 482 tests have been conducted with 31 457 tests completed since the last report.
Earlier on Tuesday Mkhize appealed to the public to take the Covid-19 seriously as the situation was getting out of hand.
Briefing the media along with other ministers serving on the National Coronavirus Command Council, Mkhize said hospitals were fuller than they were during the first wave in June, July and August.
"As of now, many private hospitals are full. There are many (patients) that must go to public hospitals," he said.
Mkhize reiterated that it was important for the people to behave and wear a mask, sanitise and wash hands.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that wearing a mask in public was mandatory and those who did not comply could be arrested, fined or imprisoned for up to six months.
Mkhize also said those who were on quarantine should stay at home during the 10-day period so as not to spread the coronavirus.
He noted that the new Covid-19 variant was making people more sick and urged them to treat the pandemic just as they did when it broke out the first time.
Mkhize said the processes to get the Covid-19 vaccine were underway.
"As of now, we are waiting not beyond April. We try to get them before that."
He also said the health care workers and emergency personnel were set to be the first to receive the vaccine along with the elderly.
Mkhize also pleaded with the public to bury their loved ones quickly to avoid more infections when people pay their respects to homes of the deceased.