NATIONAL NEWS - COVID-19 infections are not showing signs of slowing down as South Africa grapples with the second wave.
On Monday, South Africa’s COVID-19 cases jumped by 15 046, which brings the tally to 1 246 643 since the outbreak.
Also, active cases are growing rapidly, with 239 799 patients currently infected.
KwaZulu-Natal remains home to the most active cases, standing at 93 376, followed by Gauteng with 50 501, while 48 416 cases can be found in the Western Cape.
The North West has 10 573 active cases, Limpopo 9 964, Free State 8 780, Mpumalanga 7 879, Eastern Cape 6 538 and the Northern Cape 3 772.
Meanwhile, the death toll has now reached 33 579 after 416 people succumbed to the respiratory disease.
According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Western Cape reported 176 fatalities, followed by the Eastern Cape with 163.
Thirty-eight deaths occurred in KwaZulu-Natal, 30 in the Free State, four each in Mpumalanga and North West, and one in the Northern Cape.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased,” said Mkhize.
The recovery rate stands at 78.1% after 973 265 people beat COVID-19.
Meanwhile, 7 236 389 tests have been conducted since the pandemic, of which 52 496 were performed since the last report.
The World Health Organisation is reporting 89 048 345 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 930 265 deaths, to date.
Addressing the nation last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa recorded nearly 190 000 new Coronavirus infections, with more than 4 600 COVID-19 deaths since New Year’s Day.
“New infections in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape have grown fast and have now far exceeded the peak during the first wave,” he said, adding that infections in Gauteng are growing and expected to increase further as holidaymakers return home.
He also mentioned that over 15 000 people with COVID-19 are in hospitals nationally, while about a third are on oxygen.
Ramaphosa said these admissions are placing a considerable strain on health facilities, personnel and equipment.
The President has since called on citizens to observe all health protocols.
“If anything, the new variant means that we must be more diligent, more compliant and more consistent in following the necessary health guidelines.”
In addition, Ramaphosa also announced that the nation has 20 million doses of vaccines to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year.
“We are now in the centre of the storm. We do not know how much longer it will last or how much worse it will get. But we know what we need to do to weather the storm.”
He urged everyone to protect themselves and those around them as the country remains on adjusted alert level 3 lockdown. – SAnews.gov.za