Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Ameena Goga, says the COVID-19 pandemic has taught South Africans that complete health is the universal approach to wellness, and not simply dealing with a particular disease.

She was speaking to SABC News on World Health Day which is being commemorated globally on Wednesday, under the theme “Together for a fairer, healthier world.”

Professor Goga says, in South Africa, people have implemented behavioural changes for the betterment of their future health.

“It has taken a pandemic to teach us that health is not just the absence of disease. It is a state of social, physical and social well-being. It has taken a pandemic to show us that health is inter-connected. No one is healthy until everybody is healthy. Health for all is something we really need to strive for. We have not attained it yet.”

The country has also recorded 37 new COVID-19-related fatalities on Tuesday. This brings the total number of deaths to 53 032.

As at Tuesday evening, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 552 853 the total number of deaths is 53 032 the total number of recoveries is 1 478 820 and the total number of vaccines administered is 272 438. pic.twitter.com/vYj5W5fGVh

— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 6, 2021

In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in the Free State.

“Regrettably, we report 37 more COVID-19-related deaths: 8 from Eastern Cape, 16 from the Free State, 9 from Gauteng, 0 from Kwa-Zulu Natal, 0 from Limpopo, 0 from Mpumalanga, 0 from the North West, 0 from the Northern Cape and 4 from the Western Cape,” says Dr Mkhize.

Recoveries currently stand at 1 478 820.

The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 9 995 431.

The number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol stands at 272 438.