The Department of Health has confirmed the cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases is 686 891 with 1 736 new cases identified since the last report.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 339 686 with 21 172 new tests conducted since the last report.
The Department reported 160 more COVID-19 related deaths: 18 from Eastern Cape, 6 from Free State, 105 from KwaZulu Natal, 13 from Gauteng, 6 from Limpopo, 4 from Mpumalanga, and 8 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 17 408.
There has been a noticeable increase in the number of deaths recently which caused The Department concern as they have received reports from the Medical Research Council that there have been no excess deaths for three weeks in a row.
The Department therefore consulted the provinces to ascertain the reason for the increased numbers.
They have received reports that the provinces are implementing the recommendations of the MRC to reconcile the data with Home Affairs deaths data. In addition provinces are auditing the deaths data either by mining data from the DATCOV surveillance reports and identifying unreported deaths or auditing the facilities on the ground. The Department welcomed this robust refinement of data collation as it reassures us that, moving forward, we exercise precision in our epidemiological surveillance.