Saturday, 26 December 2020 21:58

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed in a statement South Africa's cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 994 911.

This is an increase of 11 552 identified in the last 24 hours.

A cumulative 6 415 824 tests have been conducted with 37 817 tests completed since the last report.

Mkhize added that a further 245 more COVID-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 118, Gauteng 12, Kwa-Zulu Natal 57, Mpumalanga 3 and Western Cape 55 which brings the total to 26 521 deaths.

The recoveries currently stand at 839 194.

Meanwhile four cases of a coronavirus variant that recently emerged in the United Kingdom and is believed to be particularly infectious, have been confirmed in Madrid, the regional government has said.

All four cases, the first detected in Spain, involved people who recently arrived from the UK, the Madrid regional government’s deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero told a news conference on Saturday.

"The patients are not seriously ill, we know that this strain is more transmissible, but it does not cause more serious illness," he said. "There is no need for alarm."

There are another three suspected cases of the coronavirus variant but the results of tests will only be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.

On Friday, authorities in Lebanon and France also confirmed cases of the new variant.

Since Tuesday, Madrid has banned all entries from the UK except for Spanish nationals and residents.

The news comes as the Spanish government is expected to receive 4.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses over the next 12 weeks, enough to vaccinate some 2.2 million people, according to the ministry.

The government expects to have between 15 million and 20 million people of its population of 47 million vaccinated against the virus by June.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.