Cape Town — Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the nation recorded 21,832 new cases of Covid-19, and 844 deaths.
This marks the deadliest 24-hour period for new Covid-19 infections and deaths in the nation yet. The previous highest number of deaths in a single day was 572 during July 2020.
Mkhize, who noted the statistics as a 'grim milestone', said: "The 452 deaths reported from the Eastern Cape are as a result of data reconciliation dating between May and November 2020 – this includes analysis of community cases where post-mortem swabs were taken for Covid testing and analysis of clinical records where the diagnosis was unconfirmed at the time of demise. The National Department of Health is engaging the province to investigate the details of the reporting backlog."
According to Bloomberg, government officials have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to enforce higher restrictions to curb the country's rising infection rate. The nation is currently at a level 3 national lockdown.
Level 4, last enforced during May 2020, banned travel between provinces, with the exception of the transporting of goods. National borders were also closed to international travel except to allow the repatriation of South African nationals.
Ramaphosa hosted a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council on Wednesday, January 6, to determine the government's next course of action. No announcements have yet been made.
More to follow...