Daily Covid-19 update: 2,260 healthcare workers vaccinated to date, says Mkhize

Recoveries now stand at 1,399,829 representing a recovery rate of 93,5%. 

As of Thursday, 18 February 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,498,766 with 2,320 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

230 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 24 from Eastern Cape, 7 from Free State, 21 from Gauteng, 27 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 122 from Limpopo, 10 from Mpumalanga and 19 from Western Cape.

ALSO READ: Here is SA’s first-ever citizen to take the Covid-19 jab

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 48,708.

Recoveries now stand at 1,403,214 representing a recovery rate of 93,6%. 

A total of 8,807,299 tests have been completed with 34,556 new tests conducted since the last report.

Mkhize further revealed that 2,260 healthcare workers have already been vaccinated as of 6pm on Thursday.

WATCH: ‘I really did not feel much pain’ – Squirmish Ramaphosa gets vaccinated for Covid-19

These are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

US variant study

US President Joe Biden’s administration is investing nearly $200 million to increase sequencing of virus variants by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from about 7,000 samples per week to approximately 25,000.

Half of South Africa infected?

Around half of South Africa’s population is thought to have contracted Covid-19, studies and statisticians say, suggesting the virus has claimed tens of thousands more lives than officially recorded.

Static Lunar New Year

Tens of millions of people in China stayed put during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday – the world’s largest annual migration – as passenger traffic more than halved.

Town-wide trial

The Brazilian town of Serrana begins vaccinating its entire adult population of some 30,000 in an unprecedented campaign meant to allow authorities to analyse the impact of immunisation on the pandemic.

Sinovac green light

Hong Kong approves the Chinese Sinovac jab for emergency use after a panel of experts fast-tracks its recommendation despite its relatively low efficacy rate of 62.3 percent.

Asylum claims fall

Requests for asylum in the EU dropped 31 percent in 2020 to their lowest level in eight years, as would-be refugees ran up against travel restrictions.

AirFrance-KLM loss

Air France-KLM books a net loss of 7.1 billion euros ($8.6 billion) in 2020, compared with a bottom-line profit of 290 million euros a year earlier.

Airbus too

Meanwhile the European aircraft giant Airbus says it was able to limit its losses last year to 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

Soldiering on

Pentagon officials report about one-third of the US military is declining to get vaccinated despite significant infection levels in the forces.

Venezuela campaign

Venezuela begins immunising health care workers and public sector employees with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Italy mask racket

Italian police investigate a group of people suspected of skimming millions off government contracts for Chinese face masks worth 1.25 billion euros ($1.5 billion).

Latvia’s real ice blondes

Hairdressers in Latvia, where salons have been closed since December 21, are offering their services in snowy forests or on frozen lakes as they protest against restrictions.

2.43 million deaths

The virus has caused at least 2,430,693 deaths since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Thursday.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 490,550 deaths, followed by Brazil with 242,090, Mexico with 177,061, India with 156,014 and Britain with 118,933.

READ MORE: SA asks Serum Institute of India to take back AstraZeneca vaccine doses – report

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