The downward trend in daily SARS-CoV-2 infections in South Africa has continued, with 9 010 new confirmed infections recorded in the past 24 hours.
As of 18 January, the country had recorded a total of 1,346,936 infections of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
Earlier on Monday, while addressing a scientific discussion on the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize noted that there have been promising signs of a decline in transmissions.
“Yesterday [Sunday], we noted a 23% decrease in new cases nationally compared to seven days prior,” Mkhize said.
“This could be attributable to many factors, including enhanced physical distancing facilitated by lockdown regulations.
“We must thank South Africans for adhering to the regulations, difficult and frustrating as it may be. Every sacrifice made has saved lives and we appreciate the patriotism South Africans are displaying to protect the sanctity of life.”
Total cases by province
Western Cape: 258,124
Eastern Cape: 187,171
Free State: 70,891
North West: 51,547
Northern Cape: 29,757
However, Mkhize added that the healthcare system continues to experience significant strain with hospitalisations continuing to trend upwards.
According to the minister, there was an 18.3% increase in hospital admissions on 16 January compared to the seven days prior.
“As at 16 January, nearly 18,000 (17,878) patients were admitted, with 2,472 in ICU, 1,117 on ventilators and 5,850 requiring oxygen.
“This is a significant additional burden to the system, and we must salute our healthcare workers for their stamina and courage as they continue to battle it out in the forefront,” he said.
As of 18 January, the Covid-19-related death toll in the country had risen to 3,449 following 344 newly reported deaths.
Of the new confirmed deaths, KwaZulu-Natal recorded 91, the Western Cape 88, the Eastern Cape 66, Gauteng 63, the Northern Cape 13, Mpumalanga 12, and the Free State 11.
Total deaths by province
Eastern Cape: 9,510
Western Cape: 9,220
Free State: 2,473
North West: 783
Northern Cape: 509
As of 18 January, the country had recorded a total of 1,117,452 recoveries, which translates to a recovery rate of 83%.
By Monday evening, there were 192 035 confirmed active cases throughout the country.
Active cases by province
Western Cape: 39,855
North West: 13,471
Free State: 10,353
Eastern Cape: 5,038
Northern Cape: 4,593