South Africa has become a COVID-19 model for the continent in many ways since it confirmed its index case on 5th March, 2020. From the area of testing through to record number of recoveries, South Africa has been praised for pro-activeness in combating the virus.
The economic intervention measures rolled out by President Cyril Ramaphosa has also been classed as one of the most comprehensive across the continent. South Africa was one of the earliest to roll out such measures.
That President Ramaphosa is also the current Chairperson of the African Union, AU; means he has the delicate task of juggling national tasks withe the continental as Africa seeks global support to combat the pandemic.
Key statistics as at June 22
The total number of confirmed cases = 101,590
The total number of tests so far = 1,353,176
Total death toll = 1,991
Total recoveries = 53,444
Most impacted provinces = Guateng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu-Natal
June 23: Africa’s 1st COVID-19 vaccine trial starting
Researchers in South Africa say the first COVID-19 vaccine trial on the African continent is set to get underway on Wednesday.
The University of the Witwatersrand says the vaccine developed by University of Oxford researchers is already being evaluated in a large trial in the UK and a similar trial is beginning in Brazil.
The announcement came hours after South Africa reported that total coronavirus cases in the country surpassed 100,000 as of Tuesday. South Africa accounts for almost one-third of the infections on the African continent.
The South Africa vaccine trial aims to enroll 2,000 participants. The first are to get vaccinated this week in Gauteng province, home of economic hub Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.
Others will be vaccinated in the hot spot of Western Cape province. Shabir Madhi, who leads the trial, said it begins as South Africa enters winter and the flu season and as pressure increases on hospitals.
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 25 116 #COVID19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. There are 4 289 new cases of #COVID19. Regrettably, we report 61 more #COVID19 related deaths; 39 from the WC, 18 from EC , 3 from KZN and 1 from Limpopo. We send our deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/rpowBkvcir— NICD (@nicd_sa) June 22, 2020
May 12: US donates ventilators
The U.S. government is donating “up to 1,000” ventilators to South Africa to help the country respond to COVID-19 as the Trump administration addresses criticism that it hasn’t done enough for countries in need.
“South Africa is the first country in the world to receive this state-of-the-art equipment” from the National Security Council and USAID, the U.S. Embassy said in a tweet. Last week, however, Mexico said it received a U.S. shipment of 211 ventilators as part of aid promised by President Donald Trump.
The U.S. soon will make similar donations to countries around the world, according to embassy officials. South Africa has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa with more than 11,300, includ