By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize says the cumulative number of Covid-19-related cases identified in South Africa on Friday stood at 1 581 210, with 1 674 new cases reported.
Mkhize said a further total of 19 Covid-19 deaths were reported: Gauteng 7, KwaZulu-Natal 4, Eastern Cape 3, Mpumalanga 3, Free State 1 and Western Cape 1. No fatalities were recorded in Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape.
There have now been 54 350 Covid-19 deaths, with 1 505 620 cumulative recoveries, representing a recovery rate of 95%, said Mkhize.
The number of tests conducted to date is 10 654 870. Of these, 29 840 tests were conducted since the last report.
The minister added that a total of 317 656 healthcare workers have been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol to date.
Meanwhile the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has prompted the South African government to consider introducing additional measures in order to stave off a third wave.
Mkhize told an online conference that a close eye was being kept on India, which has now the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the world.
"The challenges we have seen in India are very serious," Mkhize said.
"We have received an advisory from the ministerial advisory council that we have to consider some restrictions and we are now going through that," he said, without giving details.
President Cyril Ramaphosa eased coronavirus restrictions in March as the rate of new infections dropped, scrapping most limits on alcohol sales, shortening a night-time curfew and permitting larger public gatherings.
Covid-19 infections in Africa’s most-industrialised economy have fallen from about 22,000 a day in January to fewer than 1,000, even without a large-scale vaccination campaign.