Covid-19 update: SA reports 8,920 new cases and 21 deaths

In South Africa, 8,920 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the past 24 hours, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (USA).NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,871,085. This increase represents a positive outcome rate of 23.1%.

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (39%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (22%). The Western Cape accounted for 16%; The Eastern Cape was 7%; The Free State accounted for 6%; the Northwest accounted for 4%; Mpumalanga accounted for 3%; Northern Cape was 2%; and Limpopo accounts for 1% of today’s new cases. Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 150.

The country also reported 21 deaths, of which 8 deaths occurred in the last 24-48 hours. To date, the total number of deaths from Covid-19 is 100,630.

24,804,199 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

US mourns one million Covid-19 deaths

The White House said on Thursday that the United States has crossed the threshold of one million Covid-19 deaths as the country seeks to turn the page on the pandemic despite threats of a new surge.

“Today we mark a tragic milestone,” President Joe Biden said in a statement acknowledging the “unrelenting” pain of the families of the victims and urging Americans to remain vigilant as cases return.

“A million empty chairs around the dining table,” Biden said. “Every irreparable loss. Everyone who left behind a family, a community and a nation is forever changed.”

Biden’s announcement came as he chaired a global virtual summit on Covid-19, which took place at a time when two million Covid-19 deaths were also recorded in Europe, and focused on efforts to control the pandemic worldwide and preparing for future health emergencies.

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The US leader arrived at the summit embarrassed that Congress had not approved $22.5 billion in further Covid-19 emergency funding, including for international vaccine shipments, and warned it was ‘critical’ for lawmakers to continue funding testing, vaccines and treatments.

America recorded its first death from Covid-19 on the West Coast in early February 2020. By the next month, the virus had devastated New York and the White House was predicting up to 240,000 deaths nationwide.

Additional AFP reporting