File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

SA records 3 641 new Covid-19 infections, 61 more deaths

By IOL Reporter Time of article published May 21, 2021

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Cape Town – South Africa has recorded 3 641 new Covid-19 infections and 61 more deaths.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said last night the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa was 1 625 003.

A total of 19 more deaths were recorded in Limpopo, 17 in Gauteng, 12 in the Northern Cape, 7 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in KwaZulu-Natal and 2 in the Free State. No deaths were reported in Mpumalanga, North West, and the Western Cape.

This brings the total number of deaths to 55 568. The cumulative recoveries now stand at 1 531 993, representing a recovery rate of 94,2%.

The number of tests conducted to date is 11 246 917. Of these, 39 612 tests were conducted since the last report.

The total vaccinated under the Sisonke Programme is 480 665. These vaccinations were with the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and are therefore completed vaccinations.

The total vaccinated in phase 2 as at 5.10pm yesterday was 116 741. These vaccinations were with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Data supplied by the Department of Health

Meanwhile, seriously ill Covid-19 patients in African countries are more likely to pass away than those on other continents, which could be because of a lack of critical care equipment, a study published on Friday said.

Africa's populations have so far been less badly hit by the pandemic than other regions when it comes to total number of cases and deaths -- but the authors suggest the mortality rate of those who do get sick could be even higher than their figures suggest because of a lack of data.

"Our study is the first to give a detailed and comprehensive picture of what is happening to people who are severely ill with Covid-19 in Africa," Bruce Biccard from Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town said.

"Sadly, it indicates that our ability to provide sufficient care is compromised by a shortage of critical care beds and limited resources within intensive care units.’’

On average, 31.5% of critically ill patients passed away after admission to intensive care in Asia, Europe and the Americas, compared to 48.2% in African countries.

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