A total of 5 297 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases identified since the last report. This is according the statement released by the Department of Health on Saturday evening.

“Regrettably, 318 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 85, Gauteng 53; Kwa-Zulu Natal 112; Mpumalanga 15; North West 6; Northern Cape 3 and Western Cape 44,” reads the statement in part.

The latest number of new fatalities bring the death toll in the country to 43 951.

A total of 1 292 921 people have recovered from the virus, which represent a recovery rate of 89%.

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South Africa will receive its first one million doses of vaccines from India’s Serum Institute on Monday.

SA’s vaccination strategy:

Mediclinic’s Doctor Gerrit de Villiers, says they usually have an ICU and high-care capacity of 1 000 beds and 850 ventilators.

“ICU beds and ventilators have experienced the biggest strain, with many hospital’s ICU and high-care beds and ventilators fully occupied. Our current ventilator capacity and high-flow oxygen device capacity is under pressure as demand for this level of care continues to be very high. Currently, with the second surge of COVID-19, the total number of admitted patients admitted in some hospitals exceeded the peak of wave one with about 75%, and in some hospitals by 100%.”

Coronavirus vaccine will be administered free of charge: Professor Karim

Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says the COVID-19 vaccines being procured by the government will be administered free of charge.

He says funding for the vaccines will come from Treasury and various medical aid schemes.

“The vaccines that are being purchased for COVID-19, they are being purchased centrally by the government. The vaccines, as far as I understand, are being provided free to anyone who is being vaccinated. The actual funding is coming from the Treasury and the medical aids are also contributing to the cost, but to the person receiving it, there is no cost at all.”

Some health workers skeptical about the vaccine: