18 000 new Covid-19 cases reported and 436 more deaths

Johannesburg – South Africa welcomes the new year in a different way along with the rest of the world as the second wave of Covid-19 continues to gain momentum.

South Africa recorded 18 000 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

The cumulative amount of cases in the country now stands at 1 057 161.

The department of health further said, “Regrettably, today we report a further 436 COVID-19 related deaths.”

The department said that the number of total deaths is now 28 469.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier this week on Monday that the country will be placed under an adjusted level 3 lockdown with immediate effect.

Along with the harsh measures, he also closed all beaches, public swimming pools, rivers, dams and ponds for swimming.

This comes after the country has reached alarming levels as it battles against the second wave of Covid-19. Just yesterday, SA recorded a whopping 17 710 new cases. The death toll in the country is also rising every day.

Leading experts in South Africa’s vaccine procurement strategy say while securing a COVID-19 vaccine is top of the country’s agenda, it is not a magic bullet that will end the pandemic.

“There is a general misunderstanding and we need to clarify that once the vaccines arrive on our doorstep, that is not the end of the epidemic.

“The first branches will go to protect healthcare workers and will have no effect on the population as such.

“Then there will be immunisation of the population and that is going to take a long time,” said Professor Barry Schoub, who is the Ministerial Advisory Committee chairperson on vaccine development.

Schoub, together with the Health Department Deputy Director General, Dr Anban Pillay, and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) extramural unit researcher, Safura Abdool Karim, engaged in a panel discussion broadcast by the SABC on the COVID-19 vaccine outlook in 2021.

The panel discussion on vaccine procurement comes as South Africa recorded its highest daily infections, with 17 710 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 1 039 161.

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