Cape Town – A total of 969 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in South Africa over the past 24 hours, with the cumulative number of detected cases rising to 669 498.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Saturday the number of recoveries now stands at 601 818, which translates to a recovery rate of 89.9%.
’’Regrettably, we report 64 more Covid-19 related deaths: 5 from Eastern Cape, 4 from KwaZulu-Natal, 43 from Gauteng, 11 from Mpumalanga, and 1 from Western Cape. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to16 376,“ Mkhize said.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 128 438, with 11 359 new tests conducted since the last report.
’’We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers that treated the deceased patients.’’
Zweli Mkhize disbands Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19
Mkhize disbanded the government’s scientific advisory committee on the coronavirus, some of whose members have openly disagreed with state measures to tackle the disease.
Members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 were advised by letter this week that the group is being reconfigured, Francois Venter of the University of the Witwatersrand, and Glenda Gray, chief executive officer of the South African Medical Research Council, confirmed by text message on Saturday.
The disbanding follows Mkhize’s announcement on September 14 that he would reconstitute the committee, News24 reported, citing the one-paragraph letter.
The 51-strong committee, headed by Salim Abdool Karim, was created earlier this year to advise Mkhize on how to handle the pandemic.
Some members of the council, including Gray and Venter, disagreed with the government’s decision to curb economic activity in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. Gray’s criticism of some of the measures as “unscientific” in May prompted Mkhize to accuse her of lying and led to a spat between the government and the academic community. Shabir Madhi, another MAC member who heads up the South African arm of a vaccine trial, has also been critical.
SA has dropped to 10th position on the Worldometers ranking of countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
213 Countries and territories around the world have reported a total of 32 968 296 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Covid-19, and a death toll of 996,465 deaths.