21 980 new Covid-19 infections and 616 more deaths in SA in past 24 hours

Johannesburg – As South Africa continues to rampage through the country, the country’s department of health has said that 21 980 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

This takes the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in SA to 1 192 570.

The department of health further said, “7 043 680 tests have been completed with 76 202 new tests done. We report 616 more COVID-19 related deaths. This brings the total deaths to 32 425.Our recoveries now stand at 947 919, representing a recovery rate of 79,5%.”

The health minister, Dr Zwelini Mkhize announced that South Africa will be receiving one million vaccines in January.

Mkhize stated that the department will prioritise the protection of SA’s health workers by ensuring that they receive the vaccine by February 2021.

In his announcement on Thursday, the Minister said government will prioritise about 1.25 million healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors from different spectrum, including doctors, nurses, general workers, security personnel and so on.

“The National Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) were fine-tuning and aligning all the regulation processes to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays or regulatory impediments to activate this roll-out,” said the Minister.

The Minister is delighted that the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine has already been given the green light by various regulators and is being distributed in other countries.

“Therefore, as part of expediting the regulatory process, SAHPRA is applying reliance on that regulatory work.”

Mkhize said engagements with relevant stakeholders to ensure the efficient and effective vaccination drive for health workers is ready to take off.

Meanwhile, he has urged the public to be patient as government continues to engage manufacturers.

“Our commitment remains to save and protect the lives of our people. We will not neglect our responsibility to protect lives and fight this pandemic,” he vowed.

“We, therefore, call on all South Africans, members of the public, political parties, business, labour, non-governmental organisations, and community leaders and members to work with us as we start this historic process.”

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