SA records 69 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the toll up to 51,179

The health department also confirmed 1,225 new infections over the same 24 hours, which means SA recorded 1,526,873 cases since the start of the pandemic.

FILE: A nurse from Lancet Nectare hospital performs a COVID-19 coronavirus test in Richmond, Johannesburg, on 18 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – There was a decrease in the daily number of recorded COVID-19 deaths in South Africa with 69 new fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours.

This has taken the country's total death toll to 51,079 so far.

The health department also confirmed 1,225 new infections over the same 24 hours - which means, so far, the country recorded 1,526,873 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Over 1.4 million people have recuperated, placing the recovery rate at 94.8%.

At the same time, 145,215 health workers have now been given the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, scientists have said the COVID-19 vaccine remains the only way to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 51,000 people in South Africa.

On Friday, new research by the Wits vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit found that the Novavax vaccine protected patients who had the variants prevalent in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The unit’s executive director Professor Shabir Madhi said new data from the trials remains promising.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.