Coronavirus Updates

BREAKING: New Covid-19 cases in SA rise to 2 888

PRETORIA, South Africa – A total of 2 888 new Covid-19-related cases have been identified in South Africa since the last report, compared to yesterday’s 1 987 new cases.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 757 144.

’’Regrettably, 123 more Covid-19-related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 35, Free State 31, Gauteng 4, KwaZulu-Natal 3, Limpopo 7, North West 31 and Western Cape 12.

’’This brings the total deaths to 20 556. Of the 123 death,s 17 reportedly occurred in past 24 hours: 4 in Eastern Cape, 2 in Gauteng, 11 in Western Cape.’’

The number of recoveries now stand at 701 534, which translates to a recovery rate of 92.6%. The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 5 189 580, with 28 703 new tests conducted since the last report.

Data supplied by the Department of Health

In the run-up to South Africa’s first peak in coronavirus infections and deaths attributed to Covid-19, spending by medical schemes declined, new data shows.

In the three months to the end of June, the “net relevant healthcare expenditure” per medical aid beneficiary per month was R1 474, the Council for Medical Schemes said in a summary of the quarterly filings it received.

That is down 8.1% from the 2019 figure for the same three months, and more than 15% lower than budget.

Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that final results from the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine show it was 95% effective, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency US authorisation within days.

The drugmaker said efficacy of the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunisation could be employed broadly around the world.

Efficacy in adults over 65 years, who are at particular risk from the virus, was over 94%.The final analysis comes just one week after initial results from the trial showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective.

Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing similar effectiveness.

More than 55.3 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1 332 354 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

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