As of Thursday, 21 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,380,807 with 11,381 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
647 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 139 from Eastern Cape, 17 from Free State, 93 from Gauteng, 154 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 27 from Limpopo, 17 from Mpumalanga, 55 from North West, 8 from Northern Cape and 137 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 39,501 .
ALSO READ: Third wave likely within months, say health experts
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased,” the minister said.
Recoveries now stand at 1,183,443 representing a recovery rate of 85,7%.
Meanwhile, a total of 7,820,613 tests have been completed with 58,540 new tests conducted since the last report.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
Biden plan unveiled
US President Joe Biden unveils a federal plan to combat the virus, seeking $1.9 trillion from Congress including $20 billion for vaccines and $50 billion for testing.
US embraces WHO
In a dramatic about-turn, the new US administration thanks the World Health Organization for leading the global pandemic response and vows to remain a member and “fulfil its financial obligations to the organisation”.
Second wave hits Africa
A watchdog says health systems in Africa hobbled by shortages of oxygen and other resources are struggling with a “second wave,” pushing the fatality rate above the global average.
EU border closures?
European Union chiefs are set discuss coordinated intra-EU border closures as variants have some nations stressed over a potential increase in travel at the approaching winter break.
International Olympic Committee chief says the virus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will go ahead this summer, and there is “no plan B”.
Amazon jab delivery
Amazon, with more than 800,000 US employees, says its coordination with a healthcare provider to administer shots on-site at its facilities will help achieve Biden’s goal of 100 million Americans vaccinated in the next 100 days.
Mongolia’s prime minister resigns following protests over the treatment of a new mother infected with the virus.
A video shows the woman being moved with her baby to an infectious disease centre wearing only hospital pyjamas and plastic slippers in temperatures dropping to minus 25 degrees Celsius.
A Brazilian trial that treated severely ill Covid-19 patients with the arthritis drug tocilizumab showed the drug has no clinical benefit and it has been stopped early due to an increase in deaths among those receiving it.
Help for Beirut
The World Bank will give $34 million to provide jabs for more than two million people in Lebanon, after the country recorded one of the steepest increases in transmission worldwide.
Bangladesh jab campaign
Bangladesh receives two million vaccine doses from India with the government saying it plans to start inoculating the population of 168 million people next week.
Shanghai authorities begin evacuating a residential neighbourhood near the historic Bund riverfront and ramp up testing after Chinese officials discovered at least three new cases there.
United Airlines reports it took a $7.1 billion loss in 2020 compared with profits of $3 billion in 2019 following the devastating pandemic hit to travel.
Two million plus dead
At least 2,075,698 people have died of the virus since it first emerged in China in late 2019, according to a tally compiled by AFP on Thursday based on official figures.
The US has suffered the highest death toll with 406,162 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 212,831 and India 152,869.
The US death toll now surpasses the American military death toll from World War II.
The number of deaths globally is broadly under-estimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.
The mayor of Russia’s capital announces a “significant” easing of restrictions saying that last week’s average of 2,000-4,000 new infections a day was “significantly less” than in late December.
Footballers stay put
For the first time in a decade global transfers of football players dropped from the previous year and transfer fees plummeted by almost a quarter due to pandemic financial restraints reducing player movement worldwide.
READ MORE: Africa records higher death rates during Covid-19 ‘second wave’