As of Wednesday, 17 March 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,532,497 with 1531 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

74 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 1 from Eastern Cape, 15 from Free State, 38 from Gauteng, 4 from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), 1 from Limpopo, 7 from Mpumalanga, 0 from North West, 2 from Northern Cape and 6 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 51,634.

Recoveries now stand at 1,459,056 representing a recovery rate of 95%. 

A total of 9,524,854 tests have been completed with 34,419 new tests conducted since the last report.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered stands at 168,413.

Western Cape gets rebuffed by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson

The Western Cape government said it had budgeted to buy extra vaccines, but so far none of the companies approached would do business at a provincial level – only with national.

The provincial government is receiving proposals through its normal supply chain management system from companies offering to help procure vaccines, but they will have to follow the usual tendering processes when the national government gives the go-ahead for provinces to be able to buy their own vaccines.

“At this stage in South Africa, there is no confirmation for approval of any vaccine except for J&J which is part of the implementation study,” said Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.

“We approached Pfizer and J&J to sell to the province. They said ‘no, we want to engage with national’,” said Mbombo.

Compiled by Neo Thale

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