South Africa recorded 3,751 new coronavirus cases in one day, bringing the country’s total to 1,466,767, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said late Thursday.
Mkhize said 261 more people had died from the virus, bringing the number of confirmed deaths to 45,605.
“We offer our condolences to the relatives of the deceased and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients,” he said.
South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths on the continent and is the 15th hardest hit country in the world.
The country has conducted at least 8.4 million tests for COVID-19 since it first discovered the virus in March last year.
At least 1.3 million people have recovered from the disease, giving a recovery rate of 90.5%.
On Monday, South Africa received its first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the arrival of the vaccines promised the country could turn the tide on the disease that has caused so much devastation and hardship around the world.
Healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors are prioritized for vaccination in the first phase.
The president said that in the second phase, priority will be given to key workers, people over 60 and people with comorbidities, as well as people living in nursing homes and dormitories.
“In Phase 3 we will expand the vaccination program to the rest of the adult population,” he confirmed.
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