The latest COVID-19 figures have been released. According to the Health Ministry, 2 320 new cases were identified in South Africa. As of today, the death toll stands at 48 708 with recoveries at 1 403 214.

COVID-19 update: 17 February 2021
Breakdown of new confirmed COVID-19 cases
As per Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s report, 2 327 confirmed cases were identified during the past 24 hours (2 320 on 17 February 2020). Unfortunately, we also lost 230 patients to COVID-19-related illnesses.

As per the report: 24 patients from the Eastern Cape passed away, 7 from the Free State, 21 from Gauteng, 27 from KwaZulu-Natal, 122 Limpopo, 10 from Mpumalanga, and 19 from Western Cape.

At the time of publishing, the Health Ministry recorded 8 772 743 cumulative COVID-19 tests, of which 35 413 were done during the past 24 hours: 15 115 at public facilities and 20 298 at private facilities.

New cases, deaths and recoveries by province
The confirmed COVID-19 cases per province is as follows:

ProvinceTotal Cases in South AfricaTotal DeathsTotal RecoveriesActive Cases currentlyEastern Cape193 54911 189181 756604Free State79 0493 03968 9657 045Gauteng400 6369 392385 7715 473KwaZulu-Natal326 0319 400300 52616 105Limpopo326 0311 78458 0361 350Mpumalanga69 6131 21366 5931 807North West59 9481 05754 8174 074Northern Cape33 337650 29 6733 014Western Cape275 43310 984257 0777 372Unallocated0COVID-19 updates from around the world
AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine update
Africa: Coronavirus deaths in Africa hit 100 000, with 3 341 197 confirmed infections, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources as of 21:00 South African Standard Time (SAST). 

United States: Life expectancy in the United States fell by a whole year, from 78.8 years to 77.8, in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic started to grip the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

Rome: Vatican staff who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could be sacked under a decree made public by the city-state, which employs around 5 000 people.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong approves the Chinese Sinovac jab for emergency use after a panel of experts fast-tracks its recommendation despite its relatively low efficacy rate of 62.3%.

Global: At least 191.96 million doses of anti-COVID vaccines have been injected in 106 countries and territories as of 19:30 SAST on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

Global statistics
At the time of publishing, COVID-19 is affecting 219 countries and territories. The global caseload stands at 110,779,006, with the death toll at 2,449,724 and recoveries at 85,651,959.

The US is the worst-affected with 504,531 deaths from 28,509,697 cases. After the US, the hardest-hit countries are India with 156,121 deaths from 10,962,086 cases, and Brazil with 243,457 deaths from 10,030,626.

Russia has 81,926 deaths from 4,125,598 cases while the UK recorded 119,387 deaths from 4,083,242 cases. South Africa is currently 16th on the list, preceded by Iran, Poland, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain, and France.