Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

South Africa reports 839 new COVID deaths

Country has highest number of cases and fatalities on continent

Hassan Isilow   | 20.01.2021
South Africa reports 839 new COVID deaths


South Africa reported 839 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, its highest daily figure, pushing the total number of confirmed fatalities to 38,288, said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. 

“The high number reported today is due to data reconciliation as part of the regular auditing process. This includes the analysis of community data, taking into account [such things as] post-mortem swabs, backlogged data and unconfirmed outcomes at facilities,” Mkhize said in his daily COVID-19 report.  

South Africa previously reported its highest daily COVID-19 death count on Jan. 13, when it recorded 806 fatalities. 

Mkhize said the coastal city of KwaZulu-Natal reported 263 deaths, followed by Limpopo province with 238 deaths, the tourism hub of Western Cape with 130 deaths and Eastern Cape Province with 102 deaths. The remaining five provinces had less than 50 deaths reported each. 

Mkhize said they had also detected 9,780 new coronavirus cases Tuesday after conducting 46,648 new tests. 

“As of today, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1,346,936,” the minister said, adding at least 1,144,857 people have recovered from the deadly respiratory illness, representing a recovery rate of 84%. 

To date, South Africa has conducted 7.7 million COVID-19 tests since the virus was first detected in the country last March. 

The country has the highest number of infections and deaths on the continent and is also the 15th most affected country globally according to Worldometer.

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