There continues to be a steady decline in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases detected in South Africa. The country recorded 1376 confirmed cases on Monday, February 8 and the recovery rate sits at 92%.

Regrettably, 183 more people succumbed to the virus which takes the death toll to 46 763. Since the start of the pandemic 1 477 511 South Africans have been infected with COVID-19.

Of the 183 new deaths, 30 died in the Western Cape, while Gauteng, which remains the most affected province with 26.7% of the confirmed cases, recorded 45 deaths. The Eastern Cape recorded 27 deaths, the Free State 24, Mpumalanga 21, North West 19, KwaZulu-Natal 12, Limpopo 3 and the Northern Cape 2.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients,” said Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The Western Cape has 8348 active COVID-19 cases as of 1pm on Monday. Nearly a quarter of the patients currently infected in the province are hospitalised, as 2062 patients have been admitted to hospital — 434 of these are in intensive or high care units.

Premier Alan Winde expressed his disappointment after it emerged that South Africa’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccination plans were put on hold over fears that the vaccine was ineffective against the  501Y.V2 variant present in the country.

“Like the rest of South Africa, we are devastated at the news that Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine rollout has been suspended because of the latest study on its efficacy with respect to the 501Y.V2 strain,” said Winde.

“We are fortunate to have world-class scientists in South Africa, and it is important that we listen carefully to their advice on what should now be done. We will await their guidance.”

The Premier said the province is continuing its logistical planning for phase one of the vaccine rollout in the meantime, in order to ensure they are “100% ready” once a decision has been made on the vaccine.

Picture: Flickr/International Monetary Fund

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