As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 1 541 563, with 1,554 new cases recorded since the last report, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced.
163 more Covid-19 deaths have been reported: 9 from Free State, 24 from Gauteng, 5 from KwaZulu-Natal, 71 from Limpopo, 37 from North West, 16 from Northern Cape and 1 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of deaths to 52, 535.
The total number of recoveries is 1 467 254, representing a recovery rate of 95%.
The total number of vaccines administered is 220 129.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– EU crunch summit –
European Union leaders meet via videoconference seeking ways to end the bloc’s vaccine struggles.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen releases figures showing Europe as the world’s biggest exporter of Covid-19 vaccines, at around 77 million doses, rebuking UK accusations of vaccine “nationalism”.
– 200 million doses –
US President Joe Biden launches a new goal of administering 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in the United States within his first 100 days in office, double his original pledge.
– Covax delay –
India is holding up export licences for Covid-19 vaccines destined for poor countries due to increased domestic demand as its own cases rise, says Covax facility co-leader Gavi.
– AstraZeneca doubts –
AstraZeneca says its vaccine is 76 rather than 79 percent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid, after US authorities raised concerns over its results.
And the European Medicines Agency (EMA) says it will convene a group of experts to delve further into incidents of blood clotting in people who have received AstraZeneca’s vaccine, despite declaring the jab “safe and effective”.
– Iraq, Bosnia deliveries –
Iraq receives 336,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the Covax programme, in the second delivery for the Arab state worst hit by the coronavirus epidemic.
And in the struggling Balkans, Bosnia receives its first batch of vaccines, 23,400 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
– Germany tightens rules –
Germany says travellers headed to the country by plane must show a negative Covid test before boarding.
– Hungary high –
Hungary had the world’s highest Covid-19 death rate compared to population over the last week, according to AFP data, at 15.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.
– Record Ukraine toll –
Ukraine registers a record number of coronavirus deaths for the third straight day, with 362 deaths, as new infections also reach a record high.
– Polish lockdown –
Poland will shut kindergartens, sports facilities and more non-essential shops from Saturday, the government says, as cases set a new daily record.
– 2.7 million dead –
At least 2,745,337 people have died of Covid-19 around the world since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 545,282 deaths, followed by Brazil with 300,685, Mexico with 199,627, India with 160,692 and Britain with 126,382.