SA Government Admits Private Sector CAN Purchase Covid-19 Vaccines
SA Government Admits Private Sector CAN Purchase Covid-19 Vaccines. Photo: iStockPhoto

South Africa now has 1 529 420 confirmed COVID-19 cases after 1 006 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus in the last 24 hours.

According to the latest data, the new infections represent a 4% positivity rate.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, confirmed that 65 patients lost the battle to the respiratory disease, pushing the death toll to 51 326 since the outbreak.

The Free State recorded the highest number of deaths after 27 more people lost their lives in the last 24 hours.

South Africa's latest Covid-19 update
South Africa’s latest Covid-19 update

The province is followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 20 fatalities, 12 in Gauteng, five in the Western Cape and one in the Eastern Cape.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased,” the Minister said.

The recovery rate is holding steady at 95% after 454 290 people recovered.

“The cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 450 492, with 23 903 tests completed since the last report,” the Minister said, adding that active cases now stand at 23 804.

In addition, the number of health workers vaccinated is 145 544.

Global perspective

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 119 220 681 confirmed global cases, including 2 642 826 deaths.

“As of 10 March 2021, a total of 300 002 228 vaccine doses have been administered,” the WHO said.

On Friday, WHO added the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the list of safe and emergency use in all countries and for COVAX rollout.

This comes on the back of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorisation announced last Thursday.

“Every new, safe and effective tool against COVID-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic. But the hope offered by these tools will not materialise unless they are made available to all people in all countries.

“I urge governments and companies to live up to their commitments and to use all solutions at their disposal to ramp up production so that these tools become truly global public goods, available and affordable to all, and a shared solution to the global crisis,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

This vaccine is the first to be listed by WHO as a single dose regimen.

The agency also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca-SK Bio and Serum Institute of India vaccines for emergency use. –