covid update
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South Africa logged 85 more COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the tally to 52 196 since the outbreak, said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Of the latest fatalities, 70 were reportedly from KwaZulu-Natal, seven from the Western Cape, five from Gauteng, two from Free State and one from the Eastern Cape.

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

Meanwhile, the number of Coronavirus infections have increased by 600, which pushes the total number of cases to 1 538 451.

The recovery rate is holding steady at 95% after 1 463 953 people beat COVID-19, while the active cases now stand at 22 302.

South Africa sells AstraZeneca

Meanwhile, the Minister announced on Sunday that the sale of the AstraZeneca vaccines acquired by South Africa has been concluded.

“In the past weeks the department has had to ensure that all member States identified by the African Union (AU) vaccine acquisition team as recipients of the vaccines, are compliant and have obtained all regulatory approvals, permits and licenses to roll out the vaccines in their respective countries,” the Health Department statement read.

South Africa put the brakes on the roll out of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after studies showed that it was less effective against the mutated B.1.351, which would allow ongoing transmission of the inoculated populations.

Mkhize confirmed that the department on Monday last week received the full purchase amount.

Meanwhile, the department said the AU and South African teams also ensured that all logistical arrangements are in place for the shipment of the vaccines.

“The Minister is pleased to announce that the first batch of vaccines that are being delivered will benefit nine member States. The balance will be collected this week to be delivered to five other countries,” the statement read. –

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