Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that 18,555 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours. This means 1,278,303 cases have been recorded across SA. The new infections came from 71,681 tests, at a positivity rate of 25.88%.
The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 7 358 741 with 71 681 new tests conducted since the last report.
South Africa recorded 806 new Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the most single-day deaths so far.
Eastern Cape 150, Free State 24, Gauteng 211, Kwa-Zulu Natal 235, Limpopo 14, Mpumalanga 14, Northern Cape 7 and Western Cape 151.
This brings the total deaths to 35 140 deaths.
Mkhize added that the recoveries now stand at 1 030 930, representing a recovery rate of 80,6%.
Meanwhile according to the WHO’s global epidemiological situation, following two weeks of low reporting, likely due to the year-end holiday period, the overall upward trend seen in earlier weeks has started, with just under five million new cases reported last week worldwide.
The agency said the number of new deaths has also shown a similar trend, with over 85 000 reported last week, translating to an 11% increase.
"All regions apart from South-East Asia showed an increase in new cases, with the Western Pacific, Africa and the Americas reporting increases of over 30%."
America accounted for 51% of all new cases and 45% of all new deaths globally in the seven days, while Europe experienced a slight decrease in the number of infections.
However, the region accounts for over a third of new cases globally, the WHO added.
"In South-East Asia, the decline in new cases and new deaths seen since the end of November 2020 continues. Although the Eastern Mediterranean region is showing an 11% increase in new cases, new deaths have fallen by 9%, continuing a downward trend since a peak in mid-November."
In Africa, there have been 175 000 additional cases and 4 300 new deaths, an increase of over 30% in new cases and new deaths, far exceeding previous peaks in July 2020.
"The Western Pacific also reported an increase of more than 30% in new cases, while the number of new deaths also rose by 14%."
In the past week, five countries reporting the highest number of cases were the United States (with 1 786 773 cases, 35% increase), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (417 620 cases, 22% increase), Brazil (313 130 cases, 24% increase), the Russian Federation (165 167 cases, 12% decrease) and Germany (142 861 cases, 15% increase).
Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.