SA records 868 new COVID cases, 51 fatalities

The latest deaths take the country's known death toll to 89,635.

FILE: Two patients with COVID-19, one (L) breathing in oxygen, in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Department has started to include the results of rapid antigen testing in its COVID-19 statists.

Initially, all coronavirus infections were diagnosed through laboratory testing, however, these antigen tests were approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) over a year ago and have been increasingly used by healthcare professionals to diagnose the virus.

This method of testing allows for easier access and provides results within 20 minutes.

The department said that with the inclusion of the latest antigen results, South Africa recorded 868 positive cases over the past 24-hour reporting cycle.

Over the same period, 51 more people also died, taking the country's known death toll to 89,635.

On the vaccine front, over 24.8 million jabs have been administered in the country so far.