NATIONAL NEWS - As of Thursday, 7 January, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,170,590 with 20,999 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
441 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 70 from Eastern Cape, 23 from Free State, 75 from Gauteng, 132 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 11 from Limpopo, 7 from Mpumalanga, 4 from Northern Cape and 119 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 31,809.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased,” the minister added.
Recoveries now stand at 938,216 with a recovery rate of 80,1%.
Meanwhile a total of 6,967,478 tests have been completed with 69,271 new tests conducted since the last report.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,884,187 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.
At least 87,162,540 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
Of these, at least 54,233,100 are now considered recovered. These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and excludes later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.
On Wednesday, 14,615 new deaths and 748,244 new cases were recorded worldwide.
Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 3,626 new deaths, followed by Brazil with 1,242 and Mexico with 1,165.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 361,297 deaths from 21,305,323 cases.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 198,974 deaths from 7,873,830 cases, India with 150,336 deaths from 10,395,278 cases, Mexico with 129,987 deaths from 1,479,835 cases, and the United Kingdom with 77,346 deaths from 2,836,801 cases.
The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 172 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Slovenia with 139, Bosnia-Herzegovina with 128, Italy 127, and Republic of North Macedonia 123.
Europe overall has 601,606 deaths from 27,971,353 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 519,683 deaths from 16,046,726 infections, and the United States and Canada 377,633 deaths from 21,930,370 cases.
Asia has reported 223,149 deaths from 14,143,903 cases, the Middle East 91,304 deaths from 4,123,735 cases, Africa 69,867 deaths from 2,915,217 cases, and Oceania 945 deaths from 31,239 cases.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of tests conducted has greatly increased while testing and reporting techniques have improved, leading to a rise in reported cases.
However the number of diagnosed cases is only a part of the real total number of infections as a significant number of less serious or asymptomatic cases always remain undetected.
As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.
Additional reporting from AFP