South Africa’s national COVID-19 death toll surpasses 45 000
London, Feb. 4, 2021 (AltAfrica)-South Africa has recorded 4, 058 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hour cycle, taking the total number to 1 463 016.
The country has also recorded 398 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Wednesday.
In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
“Regrettably, we report 398 more COVID-19 related deaths: 46 from Eastern Cape, 12 from the Free State, 97 from Gauteng, 138 from Kwa-Zulu Natal, 8 from Limpopo, 21 from Mpumalanga, 9 from the Northern Cape and 67 from the Western Cape,” says Dr Mkhize. This brings the total number of deaths to 45 344.
Recoveries currently stand at 1 323 680.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 8 369 287.
South Africa will be receiving a disproportionately high number of Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer – which demands ultra-low temperatures – numbers released by Covax on Wednesday show.
More than half of all the early Pfizer doses the initiative intends to distribute in Africa will be headed for South Africa.
Overall, SA’s share of Covax vaccines stands at 1%, according to an early forecast, but its share of the Pfizer allocation is at 10%.
Meanwhile, Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and German biotech firm CureVac have teamed up in a 150 million euro deal to develop a Covid-19 vaccine from next year that could target several variants with one shot.
New, more contagious mutations of Covid-19 have emerged in Britain, SA and Brazil and while existing vaccines appear to offer some protection against them, there are fears further changes in the virus could evade current shots.