By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize says the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa is 1 549 451.
This is an increase of 1294 new cases identified and the cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 912 073 with 32 725 tests completed since the last report.
Mkhize said a further 51 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 3, Free State 0, Gauteng 13, Kwa-Zulu Natal 3, Limpopo 25, Mpumalanga 1, North West 0, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 6, which brings the total to 52 897 deaths.
The minister added that the cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 474 826, representing a recovery rate of 95%.
The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 269 102 as at 18.30, 1 April 2021
Globally, there have been 127 877 462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 796 561 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation.
Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine has been approved by South African regulators for general use days after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country will get more than 30 million doses.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has backed the single-shot candidate with conditions, spokesman Yuven Gounden said on Thursday, without giving further detail.
The US drug maker’s vaccine has so far only been used in the country to inoculate health workers, and its approval is a boost to a national roll out that’s been hit by a series of delays.
The regulator last month approved the shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, though AstraZeneca’s has been spurned due to concern over its limited efficacy against a variant identified in the country late last year.
J&J agreed earlier this week to supply as many as 400 million doses to the African Union through the end of next year.
The vaccine is seen as beneficial for Africa as in addition to being a single dose it can also be distributed at regular fridge temperatures, as opposed to the super-cold requirements vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.