South Africa reports 182 new deaths as infections rise steadily

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Staff members in the COVID-19 ward at Rondebosch Medical Centre wave at people gathered outside, in Cape Town on January 14, 2021. /Rodger Bosch/CFP
FILE PHOTO: Staff members in the COVID-19 ward at Rondebosch Medical Centre wave at people gathered outside, in Cape Town on January 14, 2021. (Rodger Bosch via CFP)

South Africa on Saturday reported 182 new COVID-19 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s virus-related death toll to 83,343.

In the same period, health authorities registered 8,411 new infections, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 2,814,014.

South Africa remains to be the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa, accounting for 41.95 percent of the continent’s deaths and 35.74 percent of its infections.

Gauteng province has reported the biggest numbers of the country’s cases and deaths, with its 908,183 infections shadowing individual tallies reported by all other countries on the continent. The province’s tally of 18,866 COVID-19 fatalities is only lower than the death toll reported by Tunisia (23,710).

KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape provinces have also reported high numbers of infections and deaths, each having more than 490,000 confirmed cases.

The South African government is banking on a mass vaccination exercise to contain the spread of the virus.

By Saturday, 13,430,600 vaccines had been administered.

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