Saturday, 20 March 2021 22:40

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa now stands at 1 536 801.

This is an increase of 1378 new cases identified in the last 24 hours and the cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 611 262 with 26 339 tests completed since the last report.

Mkhize said a further 47 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 2, Free State 3, Gauteng 9, Kwa-Zulu Natal 21, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 9North West 0, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 3.

This which brings the total deaths to 52 082.

The minister added that the cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 462 110, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

Vaccination Rollout
This morning a further 70 000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines arrived and are being dispatched over the course of the weekend to the various provinces according to respective allocations.

The aircraft carrying the consignment from Switzerland touched down at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday morning.

This as government looks to complete the first phase of its vaccination programme involving healthcare workers in the public and private sectors.

At least 182 983 healthcare workers have been vaccinated since the arrival of the first batch of vaccines in February.

Government has set aside a budget of R9 billion towards funding the free Covid-19 vaccination programme in the medium term, with the rollout expected to gather pace in the second half of the year.

This brings the vaccine rollout costs to a total of R10.3 billion for the current year, as an additional R1.3 billion was allocated in the current financial year.

The country has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Of these doses, 2.8 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter and the rest spread throughout the year, said Ramaphosa.

South Africa also secured 20 million doses from Pfizer, which will be delivered from the second quarter, and 12 million vaccine doses from the Covax facility.