Tuesday, 29 December 2020 21:28

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in statement that the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases identified South Africa have risen to 1 021 451.

This in an increase of 9580 cases identified since in the last 24 hours.

A cumulative 6 500 482 tests have been conducted with 31 457 tests completed since the last report.

Mkhize added that a further 497 more COVID-19 related deaths were reported: Eastern Cape 137 , Free State 3, Gauteng 68, Kwa-Zulu Natal 114, Limpopo 13, Mpumalanga 2, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 158. This brings the total to 27 568 deaths.

The recoveries currently stand at 858 456. This represents a recovery rate of 84%.

Mkhize has also appealed to South Africans to do their bit to flatten the curve and free up space in the nation’s hospitals.

Addressing a briefing on the new level three lockdown regulations, Mkhize said that the ban on alcohol sales was likely to help matters considerably.

Mkhize said that alcohol abuse and the related unnecessary trauma that it often brought with it had been filling up ICU beds, especially in COVID-19 hotspots across the country.

"We find that our ICUs are full of trauma patients when, in fact, we need them for COVID-19 related situations."

Mkhize has appealed to citizens to work with government to ensure that they abide by lockdown restrictions and in so doing, reduce the number of infections.

"... so that we can open up our hospitals so that we can continue to treat people who have come there with other diseases that are not related to COVID-19."

Over 11,000 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalised. Of these just over 3,500 are on oxygen and 604 are on ventilators.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.