South Africa is edging toward 40 000 confirmed Covid-19-related deaths as 566 new deaths were recorded by Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 38 854.
Of the new confirmed deaths, KwaZulu-Natal recorded 218, the Eastern Cape 104, the Western Cape 104, Gauteng 80, the Free State 46, the Northern Cape eight, and Mpumalanga six.
This according to a statement by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
"We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated these patients," Mkhize said.
Total deaths by province
- Eastern Cape: 9 716
- Western Cape: 9 454
- Gauteng: 7 137
- KwaZulu-Natal: 6 890
- Free State: 2 539
- Mpumalanga: 814
- North West: 808
- Limpopo: 977
- Northern Cape: 519
As of 20 January, the country had recorded a total of 1 160 412 recoveries, which translated to a recovery rate of 84.7% - up 1.4% from Monday.
The number of confirmed active cases in the country is also down from Monday, with a total of 170 160 cases compared to the 192 035 confirmed active cases recorded at the start of this week.
Active cases by province
- KwaZulu-Natal: 53 442
- Gauteng: 35 558
- Western Cape: 32 366
- North West: 13 868
- Free State: 9 438
- Mpumalanga: 8 314
- Limpopo: 7 954
- Eastern Cape: 4 968
- Northern Cape: 4 252
However, the number of daily confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections is up from the beginning of the week, with 12 710 cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
On Monday, 9 010 new confirmed infections had been recorded.
As of 20 January, the country had recorded a total of 1 369 426 cases of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
On Monday, while addressing a scientific discussion on the new Covid-19 variant, Mkhize noted that there have been promising signs of a decline in transmissions.
This was repeated on Tuesday when the minister visited Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane.
"...we noted a 23% decrease in new cases nationally compared to seven days prior," Mkhize said.
"This could be attributable to many factors, including enhanced physical distancing facilitated by lockdown regulations.
"We must thank South Africans for adhering to the regulations, difficult and frustrating as it may be. Every sacrifice made has saved lives and we appreciate the patriotism South Africans are displaying to protect the sanctity of life."
However, Mkhize added that the healthcare system continues to experience significant strain, with hospitalisations continuing to trend upward.
Total cases by province
- Gauteng: 370 264
- KwaZulu-Natal: 290 356
- Western Cape: 260 492
- Eastern Cape: 188 259
- Free State: 71 734
- Mpumalanga: 56 063
- North West: 52 316
- Limpopo: 49 823
- Northern Cape: 30 119