SA’s COVID death toll breaches 90k mark

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has recorded 90,002 total deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Patients are seen lying on hospital beds inside a temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 11 January 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has surpassed the 90,000 grim mark of coronavirus related deaths.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has recorded 90,002 total deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The latest fatalities show that 27 people succumbed to the virus.

The country has also recorded 13,143 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours.

As the fourth wave takes hold across the country, the issue of vaccine mandates is top of mind for authorities. On Tuesday, Nedlac confirmed it was endorsing mandatory vaccinations.

And teachers’ union Naptosa said it agreed. The union's Basil Manuel said: “And we can’t be depending on the Constitutional Court to be giving declaratory orders. We must, as government, make decisions and let people go to the courts if they need to. However, we can’t have this silence and expecting the general public to lead the way.”

Not all labour groupings are happy about the possibility of vaccine mandates though.

Labour federation Saftu is warning they could be used to decrease the workforce.

It's planning a constitutional court bid to seek clarity on workers’ rights.