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For first time since last June there has been a drop in Covid cases

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The Department of Health reported that there were 19,849 active Covid-19 cases in the country

A woman reacts as a health care worker takes a swab from her to test for the coronavirus. Picture: Reuters

FOR THE FIRST TIME time since June last year, Covid-19 active cases in South Africa dipped below 20,000.

The Department of Health reported that there were 19,849 active Covid-19 cases in the country as of Tuesday, April 20. Recoveries stood at 1,494,630, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

Almost 121 million people had recovered from the disease, which has been confirmed in almost every country and territory around the world, while there had been around 142 million cases and three million deaths. The US, India, and Brazil have been among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

However, in South Africa’s case this milestone in the fight against the virus has been overshadowed by the country also recording the highest number of people to die from Covid-19 since March 25 – 135 deaths were recorded. The number of infections also climbed to 1,568,366 after 853 South Africans tested positive for the virus.

Of the 130 deaths reported, the Eastern Cape recorded 11, the Free State 7, Gauteng 11, KwaZulu-Natal 5, Limpopo 5, Mpumalanga 3, North West 34, Northern Cape 13 and Western Cape 41.

Meanwhile, the stalled Johnson & Johnson vaccine roll-out is poised to resume this week after South Africa’s health regulator asked the government to lift the pause provided certain conditions are met.

“These conditions include, but are not limited to, strengthened screening and monitoring of participants who are at high risk of a blood clotting disorder,” the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said in a statement.