Thursday, 29 April 2021 22:05

By Lehlohonolo Lehana

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 579 536.

This is an increase of 1086 new cases identified and the number of tests conducted to date is 10 625 030. Of these 23 137 tests were conducted since the last report.

Mkhize said a further 46 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 13, Free State 11, Gauteng 14, Kwa-Zulu Natal 2, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 0, North West 0, Northern Cape 3 and Western Cape 3, which brings the total to 54 331 deaths.

The minister added that the cumulative recoveries now stand at 1 504 426, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

Vaccination Rollout
The number of Health Care Workers Vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol to date is 307 591.

Globally, there have been 148 329 348 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3 128 962 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In addition, 983 410 283 vaccine doses have been administered as of 28 April 2021.

Meanwhile wealthy governments have been trying to stock up on Covid-19 shots from Moderna and Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE after safety concerns and production problems temporarily sidelined vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.

But even as rich countries speed up their vaccine rollouts, other parts of the world are facing sharp upticks in cases and struggling to acquire needed shots.

India has recorded more than 300,000 cases each day and more than 2,000 deaths in the past week. Fewer than 10% of its more than 1.3 billion citizens have received one dose and only around 20 million are fully inoculated against the virus.

India’s total COVID-19 cases have passed 18 million after another world record number of daily infections, as gravediggers worked around the clock to bury victims and hundreds more were cremated in makeshift pyres in parks and parking lots.

India reported 379,257 new infections and 3,645 new deaths on Thursday, health ministry data showed, the highest number of fatalities in a single day since the start of the pandemic. However, medical experts believe India’s true COVID-19 numbers may be five to 10 times greater than the official tally.

The world’s second-most populous nation is in deep crisis, with its hospitals and morgues overwhelmed. Each day, thousands of Indians search frantically for hospital beds and life-saving oxygen for sick relatives, using social media apps and personal contacts. Hospital beds that become available, especially in intensive care units (ICUs), are snapped up in minutes.

India’s military has begun moving key supplies, such as oxygen, across the nation and will open its healthcare facilities to civilians. Hotels and railway coaches have been converted into critical care facilities to make up for the shortage of hospital beds.