Africa

South Africa registers 2,073 new COVID cases, 46 deaths

Country has highest number of infections and deaths on continent

Hassan Isilow   | 06.05.2021
South Africa registers 2,073 new COVID cases, 46 deaths

JOHANNESBURG 

South Africa registered 2,073 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours for a total of more than 1.58 million, the country’s health minister said late Wednesday. 

“Today, 46 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, which brings the total deaths to 54,557,” Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update to the nation.

The minister conveyed his condolences on behalf of the government to the loved ones of those who died and thanked health care workers who treated the deceased patients.

Mkhize said over 10 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted since the virus was first detected in the country last March.

Cumulative recoveries stand at 1.51 million, representing a recovery rate of 95%. 

High alert for variant from India

Mkhize said earlier Wednesday that the country is on high alert for the COVID-19 variant circulating in India.

“We have registered the great concern that South Africans have expressed over the possible recent importation of variants of concern,” he said in a statement.

He said the government shares the concern but assured the public that they are a very capable nation that knows how to deal with the burden of a new variant.

“Our teams remain on high alert to survey, detect and contain the spread of COVID-19 in general, with a heightened awareness of travelers from countries where variants of concern are dominating,” the minister said. 

His statement came after a private health care group of hospitals confirmed that a patient who recently traveled to India had tested positive for COVID-19, but the variant the patient had was not yet established.

Mkhize warned citizens against being drawn into mistrust and sometimes even using racist rhetoric against those from countries with variants of concern.

“We confirm that the B.1.617 variant, circulating widely in India, has not been detected. However, the genomics teams are working on some samples, and we will need to allow the time it takes to sequence before we get an answer,” he said.

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