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Durban – Covid-19 deaths in South Africa climbed to 49,150 on Monday night, figures released by the National Health Department showed. This, after 97 more individuals in the past 24 hours have succumbed to the virus. Since the pandemic was first identified in the country last March, a total of 8 907 857 individuals with 1 504 588 of these positive samples have been tested. 1 413 566 of these have been recovered.

Seven deaths were registered in the Eastern Cape, 30 in the Free State, 15 in Gauteng, eight in KwaZulu-Natal, seven in Mpumalanga, eight in the Northern Cape, and 22 in the Western Cape, according to the Department of Health. There were 0 deaths reported in the North West and Limpopo. Meanwhile, with its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, the Western Cape is making strides, having so far vaccinated over 2,700 health care staff, said Premier Alan Winde.

By 5 pm on Sunday, a total of 2,756 vaccines had been administered to health care staff in the province. Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala said in KwaZulu-Natal that 1,279 health care workers were vaccinated at the weekend. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, South Africa has started vaccinating its frontline employees – 80,000 of which were delivered last week

In the meantime, Anthony Fauci, the top official for infectious diseases in the US, has advised Americans that they should continue to wear masks until 2022. He told CNN’s Dana Bash, according to the Washington Post, that it might be another year before the world returns to normal amid the roll-out of a mass vaccination program.

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