Monday, 11 January 2021 23:00

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize in a statement on Monday said the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 246 643 with 15 046 new cases identified since the last report.

The minister reported a further 416 deaths: Eastern Cape 163 , Free State 30, KwaZulu-Natal 38, Mpumalanga 4, North West 4, Northern Cape 1 and Western Cape 176. This brings the total number of deaths to 33 579.

A cumulative total of 7 236 389 tests have been completed, with 52 496 tests conducted since the last report. The number of recoveries now stand at 973 265, representing a recovery rate of 78.1%.

Mkhize added that the recoveries now stand at 973 265, representing a recovery rate of 78,1%.

Meanwhile President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that government will deploy a comprehensive vaccination strategy that aims to reach all parts of the country.

Addressing the nation on Monday on the country’s progress in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the President described the task as the "largest and most complex logistical undertaking in our country's history".

As of this week, South African has recorded over 1.2 million COVID-19 infections and 33 000 related deaths. The country is currently experiencing its second wave of infections.

"It will be far more extensive than our HIV treatment programme or even our national, provincial and local elections in terms of the number of people who have to be reached within a short space of time," said Ramaphosa.

The task will require the active involvement of all spheres of government, all sectors of society and all citizens and residents of the country.

The three-pronged strategy includes, firstly, the acquiring of enough vaccine doses to reach herd immunity.

In this regard, the President said the country was in the process of procuring vaccines through three channels: through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility, through the African Union’s vaccine initiative and through direct engagements with vaccine manufacturers.

"South Africa is part of the global COVAX facility, in which countries pool their resources to support the development of vaccines with a view to ensure that all countries receive an equitable supply of effective vaccines," he said.

The country is expected to receive vaccine doses for around 10 percent of the population through COVAX.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.