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S/Africa: Over 5,000 new Covid cases overnight – Minister

South Africa's coronavirus infections continued to rise nationwide as the country recorded some 5,782 cases and 110 deaths overnight --…

South Africa’s coronavirus infections continued to rise nationwide as the country recorded some 5,782 cases and 110 deaths overnight — with Gauteng Province experiencing the greatest surge in the entire country, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.South Africa, which is in Level 2 lockdown restrictions that started on Monday, has seen its positivity rate reach 12.7%, the minister said, giving credence that the country’s third wave was truly underway a month after the discovery of four cases of the highly transmissible Indian variant.

“We will be monitoring this increase in positivity rate to see if it sustains,” he added, as he urged “all citizens to remain vigilant and adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions — even if vaccinated.”

With the number of infections now recorded at 1,675,013 cases and 110 people dying overnight from the pandemic, the country’s death toll has now reached 56,711 people, Mkhize said.

He pegged the recovery rate at 93.5% after 1,565,684 patients recuperated from the disease, with “the cumulative total of tests conducted to date being 11,713,400.”

Meanwhile, the minister announced that some 1,117,569 people have been vaccinated for the coronavirus pandemic since South Africa rolled out its vaccination programme in mid-February 2021.

The programme’s long-term goal is to jab 40 million people to create herd immunity among the 59 million inhabitants of the Rainbow Nation, the minister noted. 

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