South Africa has reported its highest COVID-19 deaths and infections figures since the start of the outbreak.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that 844 deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, along with 21,832 cases. Of the deaths, 452 were in the Eastern Cape alone, as a result of “data reconciliation”.
Previously, the record death toll for a single day was reported on July 22 at the height of the first wave of the outbreak.
In total, 31,368 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded and 1,149,591 total infections have been confirmed. The new cases come from 70,060 tests, at a positivity rate of 31.1%.
Of the newly recorded deaths, 452 were in the Eastern Cape, 149 in the Western Cape, 65 in KwaZulu-Natal, 46 in the North West, 12 in the Free State, 11 in Limpopo, eight in Mpumalanga and five in the Northern Cape.
Part of the spike, however, can be attributed to the massive amount of deaths coming out of the Eastern Cape, which Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize called a result of data reconciliation dating between May and November 2020,” according to TimesLIVE.
“This includes analysis of community cases where post-mortem swabs were taken for COVID testing and analysis of clinical records where the 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,” he said. There are now over 180,000 active cases around the country and, to date, 929,239 recoveries have been recorded at a recovery rate of 80.8%.
The new, mutated “second strain” of COVID-19 in South Africa appears to be far more aggressive in its infection rate and far more deadly, putting young people’s lives in serious danger as well.