South Africa recorded 441 new coronavirus deaths, pushing the number of fatalities to 31,809, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said late Thursday.

Mkhize said the country also recorded 20,999 cases during a 24-hour period bringing the number of confirmed cases to 1,170,590 after 69,271 tests were conducted.

South Africa has the highest number of infections and deaths on the continent and is the sixteenth most affected country globally.

It is currently experiencing a second wave from the pandemic.

Africa’s most advanced economy has conducted nearly 7 million tests, with 938,216 patients recovering from the deadly respiratory illness.

First million COVID-19 doses

Earlier Thursday, Mkhize announced the country will receive its first million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, online publication Times live reported.

“Today we announce that South Africa will be receiving the first one million doses of vaccine in January and another 500,000 in February from the Serum Institute of India,” Mkhize said.

He said the health department reached an agreement with Serum Institute of India for the first batch of doses for front-line workers.

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