Ninety-four (94) COVID -19 deaths have been reported in South Africa in the past 24 hours – the highest daily death toll – bringing the total number of fatalities nationwide to 1,831.
There has been an increase of 3,825 new infections from Thursday – bringing the total number of reported cases to 87,715 – while over 47, 000people have recovered.
The latest figures came two days after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the re-opening of restaurants, beauty salons, cinemas, casinos, and non-contact sports.
Ramaphosa’s recent announcement of eased restrictions sparked concern about growing infections.
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However, South Africa has pinned its hope on dexamethasone, a steroid drug used since the 1960s.
According to British researchers, the drug cuts death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the department is in a position to immediately offer patients dexamethasone, adding South Africa has a good capacity of the medication which is manufactured locally.
Earlier, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 issued an advisory to recommend the drug, or a similar medication, to patients on ventilators.
Trial results showed that the benefit of dexamethasone was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with mild symptoms.