SA records 513 more COVID-deaths and 14,410 new cases

The latest fatalities have pushed the country's death toll to 30,524.

A crew of a private ambulance service in Port Elizabeth wear personal protective equipment on 11 July 2020 ahead of checking on a patient affected by COVID-19 coronavirus at her home. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Five hundred and thirteen more people have died in South Africa after contracting the coronavirus.

These latest fatalities have pushed the country's death toll to 30,524.

According to the Health Department, 14,410 new infections were also picked up over the past 24-hour period, meaning 30% of those tested had contracted the virus.

South Africa's known caseload is sitting at almost 1,128,000, with the largest concentration of these infections in the economic hub of Gauteng.

The recovery rate is hovering at around 81%, with almost 921,000 people having recuperated so far.

A National Coronavirus Command Council meeting will be held on Wednesday at which members of the joint operations centre will report to the president.

Government is under enormous pressure to get their ducks in a row - and secure a COVID-19 vaccine for South Africans.

Experts say government dropped the ball in terms of negotiations.

After mounting worries that the country is lagging behind when it comes to obtaining the jab, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has assured the public that bilateral talks have begun with pharmaceutical companies, with the hope that some supplies will arrive by next month.

So what are the chances of the country getting vaccines by February?

Professor Alex van den Heever from the Wits School of Governance said the chances were low, but not zero.

“They have been in communication with various vaccine manufacturers and I think that they will try and help South Africa as far as possible. So the problem has been that South Africa really hasn’t put its hand up. In 2020 they weren’t engaging on the bilateral arrangements and they were effectively sitting on their hands, relying on the Covax agreement which would only deliver at some uncertain time.”

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