President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 80,412.
He was addressing the nation on developments in SA’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19.
Ramaphosa's address follows a number of meetings of the cabinet, the national coronavirus command council and the presidential coordinating council.
The president also announced the number of deaths is currently at 1,674.
"The recoveries to date are 44,331. This translates to a recovery rate of about 55 percent," the president said.
He said the disease had caused massive disruption to the lives of people and threatened the livelihoods of millions, but he expressed optimism following what he deemed a “breakthrough” because of the discovery of an existing drug, discovered by the Oxford University in London which could assist in the treatment of the disease.
The said drug, dexamethasone, is also manufactured in SA.
"It has been recommended that this drug be used on patients on ventilators and those on oxygen supply," Ramaphosa said.
The WHO has welcomed as "great news" the findings of a University of Oxford study that found dexamethasone, a widely available steroid, helped save the lives of people with severe symptoms of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19, the highly infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, to reflect the results of a clinical trial that showed that a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients.
Trial results announced on Tuesday by researchers in the United Kingdom showed dexamethasone cut death rates by about a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.
More than 8.1 million people have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus around the world. Nearly four million have recovered, while approaching 444,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The United States has the most cases and deaths, followed by Brazil.