Thursday, 21 January 2021 21:13

In a statement, Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the total number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased to 1 380 807.

This is an increase of 11 381 new cases identified in the last 24 hours.

The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 7 820 613 with 58 540 new tests conducted since the last report.

A further 647 more COVID-19 related deaths were reported: Eastern Cape 139, Free State 17, Gauteng 93, Kwa-Zulu Natal 154, Limpopo 27, Mpumalanga 17, North West 55, Northern Cape 8 and Western Cape 137 which brings the total to 39 501 deaths, said Mkhize.

Mkhize added that the recoveries now stand at 1 183 443 , representing a recovery rate of 85,7%.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are 94 963 847 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 050 857 deaths, to date. 

Meanwhile South Africa has been rocked by news of the death of senior African National Congress (ANC) member and Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

Mthembu died earlier on Thursday from COVID-19 related complications.

Last Monday, he tweeted that he had sought medical attention at the 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane after experiencing abdominal pains. It was there that his COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement announcing Mthembu's passing.

ANC leaders have expressed their sadness and have also praised Mthembu for his dedication to the movement and the country.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said Mthembu died with his boots on, working for the people of South Africa.

She said he left behind a legacy of integrity and honesty, praising the late minister in the Presidency for his work ethic and commitment to serving South Africans.

Stern, firm and loyal to both South Africa and the ANC, this is how the Duarte has described Mthembu.

Duarte said many in the ANC were struggling to make sense of the news.

She added that Mthembu was a defender of the truth: "He leaves a legacy of honesty and integrity and a legacy of deep value."

Duarte said the late minister, who once served as the voice and face of the ANC, would always be remembered for his friendly approach to people.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.