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Durban – Covid-19 deaths in South Africa inched towards the 50,000 mark on Tuesday after statistics from the National Health Department reported that 49,413 individuals had succumbed to the virus so far. According to the department, on Tuesday, 263 Covid-19 related deaths were reported – up from the total of 97 deaths the previous day.

Fifty-one of the most recent deaths were in the Eastern Cape, 27 in the Free State, 39 in Gauteng, 60 in KwaZulu-Natal, 55 in Limpopo, 3 in the Northern Cape and 28 in the Western Cape. Mpumalanga and the North-West have recorded 0 fatalities. The department said in its daily statement, “We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients.”

A silver lining in the statistics was that the recovery rate for the virus in South Africa was 94 percent . In addition, 1,419,459 individuals have recovered from the virus. The new data comes from Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s announcement on Tuesday that South Africa was scheduled to receive 80,000 more Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines by the weekend. He said that in the battle against Covid-19, SA had entered more than 87 nations.

Of the 80,000 vaccines delivered last week, 23,059 people had been vaccinated by Monday, and by this Wednesday, the country was on track to inoculate 40,000, Mkhize said. Mkhize said 54,685 health-care staff in the public sector have contracted Covid-19 and 779 have since passed on.

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