South Africa has recorded over 800 daily COVID-19 deaths for the first time since the pandemic was initially reported on 31 December 2019, the new cases hit the climax record on Wednesday.
A total of 844 people lost their lives to COVID-19, pushing the death toll 31 368.
According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Eastern Cape reported 452 deaths due to respiratory disease.
However, Mkhize said the staggering number of deaths in the province was due to “data reconciliation” dating between May and November 2020.
“This includes analysis of community cases where post-mortem swabs were taken for COVID testing and analysis of clinical records where the diagnosis was unconfirmed at the time of demise. The National Department of Health is engaging the province to investigate the details of the reporting backlog,” the Minister explained.
Meanwhile, 149 fatalities were reported in the Western Cape, 96 in Gauteng, 65 in KwaZulu-Natal, 46 in the North West, 12 in the Free State, 11 in Limpopo, eight in Mpumalanga and five in the Northern Cape.
In addition, Mkhize described the latest number of daily infections as a “grim milestone” as the figure of new cases breached the 20 000 mark.
According to Mkhize, 21 832 cases have been identified since the last reporting cycle, which brings the total cumulative COVID-19 cases to 1 149 591.
The country currently has 188 984 active cases, with KwaZulu-Natal leading with 76 993 people who are currently infected, followed by the Western Cape with 41 356 and Gauteng 35 727.
Limpopo has 7 592 active cases, North West 6 958, Free State 6 565, Eastern Cape 5 610, Mpumalanga 5 441 and Northern Cape 2 742.
To date, 929 239 people have recovered from COVID-19, which translates to a recovery rate of 80.8%.
The information is based on the 6 898 207 test, 70 060 of which were performed since the last report.
According to the World Health Organisation, there have been 85 091 012 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 861 005 global deaths.