More than 500 people died of Covid-19 in one day in South Africa, which has gone past the peak of the third wave driven by the more deadly Delta variant.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in its latest daily update that 520 people died from Covid-19.and there were 17 351 new confirmed cases.
The number of total fatalities from the pandemic stands at 70 908.
While numbers of new virus infections in Gauteng have significantly come down to 5 204 in the last daily count, other parts of the country are experiencing a spike.
The Western Cape has seen new infections rise to 4 667.
Meanwhile, the vaccination effort is picking up steam.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday visit two Gauteng vaccination sites to assess progress in South Africa’s vaccination programme.
“Ramaphosa’s visit will serve to motivate greater numbers of South Africans to embrace vaccination as the most effective weapon in the fight against Covid-19,” said the Presidency in a statement.
“Covid-19 vaccines are a safe and effective defence against serious illness, hospitalisation, and death.”
Ramaphosa will visit a public health facility in Tembisa and a private-public partnership centre in Midrand.
The number of vaccinated people now exceeds seven million with about one million people being vaccinated every week. South Africa has a population of about 60 million.
More than 1 500 volunteers comprising doctors, nurses, and health workers have been brought on board to help with vaccination on weekends on various sites across all nine provinces.
South Africa has overcome the teething problems that dogged the vaccination programme when it began.
“Doing away with sectoral prioritisation and moving to the age-based approach has proven more effective in reaching a wider spectrum of South Africans,” said the Presidency.