COVID-19 in South Africa: 18th May 2021

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Yesterday the National Department of Health (NDoH) began the second part of the Sisonke Protocol vaccine rollout. It marks a significant step in a vaccine rollout that has stuttered and stumbled to date, with the department far off from its initial projections as far as inoculation targets are concerned in the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize also made a bold prediction with regard to phase two, with the NDoH hoping to vaccinate five million elderly South Africans by the end of June. Given that the latest report from the department shows that 478 733 vaccines have been administered to date to frontline healthcare workers, it is a rather optimistic claim from the minister.

Given the current challenges that loadshedding and the colder months present, it remains to be seen how effectively the second phase will be handled.

Looking at the rest of the latest report, 1 757 new cases have been reported over the past 24 hours. This pushes the total number of cases recorded to date to 1 615 485, with more than 11.13 million tests having been conducted locally so far. The NDoH also confirms that 1 526 638, translating to a recovery rate of 94.5 percent.

Unfortunately 50 new fatalities have been recorded over the past 24 hours as well. The Free State accounts for the most of the new daily figure at 30, with the province seemingly in the midst of a third wave of infections currently. The result sees the death toll related to COVID-19 in South Africa rise to 55 260.

The full breakdown of COVID-19 in South Africa is as follows:

Provinces Confirmed Cases Recoveries Active cases Deaths
Western Cape 289 870 275 600 1 996 11 711
Eastern Cape 196 610 184 660 210 11 619
Northern Cape 44 943 37 797 3 554 987
Free State 94 960 85 101 2 398 4 048
KwaZulu-Natal 338 090 322 907 5 041 10 459
North West 71 195 64 489 2 881 1 798
Mpumalanga 80 034 77 557 991 1 421
Gauteng 435 321 416 761 3 231 10 881
Limpopo 64 462 61 766 295 2 336
Unknown 0
TOTAL 1 615 485 1 526 638 20 597 55 260

As always, in order to stay up to date with the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa and abroad, we advise the following materials and platforms:

[Image – Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash]

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