Cape Town – A total of 8 319 new Covid-19-related cases were recorded on Friday, said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

This means a cumulative total of 845 083 Covid-19 cases have been reported. Mkhize has expressed concern over an exponential rise after 6 709 new cases were identified on Wednesday and 8 166 on Thursday.

A total of 205 more Covid-19-related deaths have been reported (up from 173 yesterday and 135 on Wednesday): Eastern Cape 96, Free State 10, Gauteng 20, KwaZulu-Natal 20, Limpopo 2, Northern Cape 15 and Western Cape 42, with the province passing the 5 000 mark, joiningGauteng and the Eastern Cape. This brings the total number of deaths to 22 952.

A cumulative total of 5 779 544 tests have been completed, with 44 074 new tests conducted since the last report. The number of recoveries now stand at 758 373.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda confirmed on Friday that while the beaches, usually packed with thousands of holidaymakers, will not be closed, events will be banned.

Kaunda said as part of a multidisciplinary campaign, Operation Vala, which aims to protect holidaymakers and residents from crime and the Covid-19 pandemic, measures will be implemented.

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it was working rapidly to issue an emergency use authorisation for Pfizer Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine, with the first Americans set to be immunised as early as Monday or Tuesday.

A panel of outside advisers to the FDA on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to endorse emergency use of the vaccine, paving the way for the agency to authorise the shot for a country that has lost more than 285 000 lives to Covid-19.

Britain said on Friday it would cut the self-isolation period for Covid-19 to 10 days from 14, in a change which will apply to both those presumed to have been in contact someone with the virus within the country, and those arriving from abroad.

Source: Cape Argus

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