South Africa has registered 2 080 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the last reporting period. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 769 759.
However, the health department is concerned about the positivity rate, amid predictions of a second wave in the country.
“We have registered a positivity rate of 14%, which is concerning,” reads in part the statement by the Department of Health, released on Monday evening.
The Eastern Cape, which has seen a surge in new infections in recent times, is accounting for 15.4% of the total infections. This is the fourth biggest number of infections after Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.
#COVID19 Statistics in SA as at 23 November.
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— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) November 23, 2020
More than 14 000 tests were done in the last reporting period, bring the total number of tests to 5 305 343.
“Regrettably, 65 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 26, Free State 19, Gauteng 2, Limpopo 3, North West 8 and Western Cape 7. This brings the total to 20 968 deaths,” reads the statement.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa is fully committed to participating in the process of developing a vaccine for the corona virus.
SA’s latest stats:
Earlier in the US, the head of the coronavirus vaccine programme, Dr Moncef Slaoui, said the first immunisation could start as early as the 11th of December.
He says the plan is to immunise two-thirds of the US population by May next year, using at least four of the six vaccines for which approval is being sought.
Mkhize says a number of countries are working together to ensure the speedy development of a vaccine for the virus.
“Almost 130 countries are working together to try and source one of the successful. In that process, we have actually put a commitment and we are finalising our participation in terms of some payments that need to be put down. Anyone who is not part of that process must now rely on bilateral agreements. Now, we are not relying on bilateral agreements because we think that the risk is much higher.”
Authorities have urged South Africans to continue to wear masks, wash hands and social distance – in a bid to prevent a second wave of the virus.