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Only 566 new Covid-19 cases identified in SA

A total of 566 new Covid-19-related cases have been identified in South Africa since the last report, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Monday night.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa now stands at 1 513 959. A total of 1 168 new cases were identified yesterday.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 9 090 273, with 12 794 new tests recorded since the last report.

A further 84 Covid-19-related deaths (52 on Sunday) have been reported: North West 36, Western Cape 21, Gauteng 19, Northern Cape 6 and Eastern Cape 2. The Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga recorded no deaths.

The total number of deaths now stands at 50 077. The total number of recoveries are 1 431 336, representing a recovery rate of 94.5%.

Commenting on the vaccine rollout, Mkhize said the number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 73 047 as of 6.30pm today.

Teachers are not at a higher risk of infection in their jobs than people in other professions, data released by Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Monday, ahead of a planned reopening of schools in England next week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has prioritised the reopening of schools as he plots a route out of England’s third national lockdown. They are set to reopen on March 8.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics found no statistical evidence of a difference between school staff testing positive for coronavirus antibodies, compared with the wider working-age population in the same local authorities.

“Early findings suggest that school staff were not at higher risk of infection than working age adults in the wider community, but also that there are some Covid-19 infections in schools,” said Sinéad Langan, professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“There is always a potential for transmission and it’s difficult to say if infection is occurring in schools or in the wider community.”

A total of 20.3 million people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, official data released on Monday showed.

Meanwhile, the Finnish government declared a state of emergency on Monday due to rising Covid-19 infections, a step that would allow the Nordic country to shutter restaurants and to impose other measures to blunt the pandemic.

The decision comes as new variants contribute to a sharp rise in infections in the country, which has already closed its borders. The state of emergency would also allow the government to further shut schools and limit movement between regions.




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