Covid-19 takes more lives: 647 deaths recorded on Thursday, 21 January
South Africa recorded 11 386 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, which represents a 19% positivity rate. This pushes the total number of confirmed infections since the outbreak to 1 380 807.
Meanwhile, a further 647 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported.
Of the latest fatalities, 154 patients passed away in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, 139 in the Eastern Cape, 137 in the Western Cape, 93 in Gauteng, 55 in the North West and 17 each in Free State and the North West.
Meanwhile, eight were recorded in the Northern Cape, which brings the death toll to 39 501 to date.
The recovery rate stands at 85.7% after 1 183 443 beat the respiratory disease.
“A cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 7 820 613 with 58 540 new tests conducted since the last report,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
The number of active cases is now sitting at 157 863.
KZN leads Covid-19 active cases
KwaZulu-Natal still has the highest number of active cases which stand at 44 790, followed by Gauteng with 34 283, while the Western Cape has 29 964.
The North West currently has 14 588 people who are currently infected, 9 390 in Free State, 8 701 in Mpumalanga, 7 334 in Limpopo, 4 436 in the Eastern Cape and 4 377 in the North West.
According to the World Health Organisation, there have been 95 612 831 confirmed global cases of COVID-19, including 2 066 176 deaths, reported to date.
Mkhize pays tribute to Mthembu
Mkhize has also honoured the late Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, who succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.
“A giant tree has fallen. A communicator par excellence and an even better man. He was always friendly and shall be missed for his kind and generous spirit,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize has described Mthembu, who was 62, as someone who had a simple approach to life.
“He just wanted to be friendly, helpful and he always wanted everyone to feel special and comfortable around him,” he told eNCA on Friday morning.
He recalled how Mthembu was always determined for people to understand what is going on with COVID-19.
“He would make sure that no issues are left unattended,” he told the news broadcaster, adding that he wanted people to be informed.
“What we will miss is each and every time a regulation is passed or an announcement made by the President. He was the one that would organise a programme after, to inform the people of what is now happening; what has been decided,” he added.
He said Mthembu also ensured that government was transparent.
“I think that must be one of the things that we keep as a legacy to his memory.”
The Health Minister has since sent his deepest love and condolences to the family in this painful time.