South Africa reports 2,327 new COVID-19 cases

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 27: People wearing face masks walk at a street as they continue their daily life amid coronavirus (Covid-19) in Cape Town, South Africa on December 27, 2020. (Photo by Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 27: People wearing face masks walk at a street as they continue their daily life amid coronavirus (Covid-19) in Cape Town, South Africa on December 27, 2020.
(Photo by Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

South Africa recorded 2,327 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period Thursday, bringing the number of confirmed infections in the country to 1,498,766, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced.

Mkhize said 230 more deaths were also recorded, taking the total number of fatalities to 48,708.

He said the highest number of deaths were recorded in Limpopo province, where 122 people died from COVID-19 related illnesses in a day, followed by Kwazulu-Natal province, which lost 27 lives, and the Eastern Cape 24.

Gauteng province, which includes the economic hub Johannesburg and capital Pretoria, recorded 21 deaths, while the tourism hub of Western Cape registered 19 fatalities and Free State province seven.

Two provinces out of the country’s nine, which include the North West and Northern Cape provinces, did not report any new deaths.

Mkhize said at least 1.4 million people in the country had recovered from the virus, representing a recovery rate of 93.6%.

He said 8.8 million people have been tested for the virus since the pandemic was first discovered last March. Meanwhile, 34,556 new tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.

South Africa on Wednesday started vaccinating health workers against the coronavirus. Mkhize revealed that 2,260 health care workers had since been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

South Africa has the highest number of infections on the continent. It is also the 16th most-affected country in the world in terms of cases.

Vaccinations will be administered in phases, with health workers getting the jabs first. The second phase will include other essential workers, teachers, the elderly and those with comorbidities, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a recent speech.

“The third phase will include all other adults,” he added.

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