The number of COVID-19 deaths continues to climb after 160 more people succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has expressed his concern about the noticeable spike in the number of deaths in recent weeks.
However, according to the Minister, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) confirmed there have been no excess deaths for three weeks in a row.
“We, therefore, consulted the provinces to ascertain the reason for the increased numbers. We have received reports that the provinces are implementing the recommendations of the SAMRC to reconcile the data with Home Affairs deaths data,” the Minister explained.
“Also, provinces are auditing the deaths data either by mining data from the DATCOV surveillance reports and identifying unreported deaths or auditing the facilities on the ground.”
Mkhize said they have welcomed this “robust” refinement of data collation as it reassures precision in the government’s epidemiological surveillance.
Of the latest fatalities, 105 are from KwaZulu-Natal, 18 from the Eastern Cape, 13 from Gauteng, eight from the Western Cape, six from Free State and Limpopo, and four from Mpumalanga.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 17 408.
Also, the cumulative number of detected cases is 686 891 after 1 736 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus in the last 24 hours.
“Our recoveries now stand at 618 771 which translates to a recovery rate of 90%,” Mkhize said.
The data is based on the 4 339 686 tests conducted since the outbreak of which 21 172 were performed since the last report.
Globally, there have been 36 002 827 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 049 810 deaths reported to the World Health Organisation. – SAnews.gov.za