COVID-19 continues to rise in South Africa, with 13 105 new cases, representing a 26% positivity rate.

Meanwhile, 755 more people died due to COVID-19 related complications on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 34 334 to date.

Gauteng recorded the highest number of deaths in the last 24 hours after 225 succumbed to respiratory disease, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 218, Eastern Cape with 134, while 128 occurred in the Western Cape.

Meanwhile, 26 fatalities were reported in Free State, 11 in Mpumalanga and two in the Northern Cape.

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

In addition, the country currently has 206 291 active cases as the government works around the clock to contain the further spread of the virus under the adjusted lockdown level 3.

The majority of the active cases are in KwaZulu-Natal, with 66 337 patients who are currently infected.

This is followed by Gauteng with 45 548, Western Cape 44 252, Eastern Cape 27 379, North West 11 133, Limpopo 10 818, Free State 8 770, Mpumalanga 8 301 and Northern Cape 3 753.

“Our recoveries now stand at 1 019 123, representing a recovery rate of 81%.”

According to the latest data, 50 671 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, which brings the cumulative total to 7 287 060.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is reporting 89 707 115 confirmed global cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 1 940 352 deaths, to date.

COVID-19 global view

According to the WHO’s global epidemiological situation, following two weeks of low reporting, likely due to the year-end holiday period, the overall upward trend seen in earlier weeks has started, with just under five million new cases reported last week worldwide.

The agency said the number of new deaths has also shown a similar trend, with over 85 000 reported last week, translating to an 11% increase.

“All regions apart from South-East Asia showed an increase in new cases, with the Western Pacific, Africa and the Americas reporting increases of over 30%.”

Meanwhile, America accounted for 51% of all new cases and 45% of all new deaths globally in the seven days, while Europe experienced a slight decrease in the number of infections.

However, the region accounts for over a third of new cases globally, the WHO added.

“In South-East Asia, the decline in new cases and new deaths seen since the end of November 2020 continues. Although the Eastern Mediterranean region is showing an 11% increase in new cases, new deaths have fallen by 9%, continuing a downward trend since a peak in mid-November.”

In Africa, there have been 175 000 additional cases and 4 300 new deaths, an increase of over 30% in new cases and new deaths, far exceeding previous peaks in July 2020.

“The Western Pacific also reported an increase of more than 30% in new cases, while the number of new deaths also rose by 14%.”

In the past week, five countries reporting the highest number of cases were the United States (with 1 786 773 cases, 35% increase), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (417 620 cases, 22% increase), Brazil (313 130 cases, 24% increase), the Russian Federation (165 167 cases, 12% decrease) and Germany (142 861 cases, 15% increase).

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