23 December 2020

Today we report, with concern, that
14 046 COVID-19 cases have been identified since the last report at a positivity rate of 26%. Therefore, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases today is 954 258.

This indicates that the virus continues to spread exponentially- indeed the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave and we will surpass the peak of the first wave in the coming days.

We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread.

All provinces, with the exception of the Eastern Cape, continue to report increases in their cases with KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng Province registering the largest increases and comprising 81% of the new cases today (30%, 28% and 23% respectively).

Therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate the situation in these provinces, identify hotspots in these areas (and in other provinces where they may be identified) and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far.

We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage. We urge all South Africans to adhere to the regulations and recommendations pertaining to the National State of Disaster, avoid large gatherings and congested environments, ensure adequate ventilation in venues where they gather and vigilantly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions: that is wearing of masks, social distancing and sanitization of hands and shared surfaces.


Case Data

Province Total cases for 23 December 2020 Percentage total
Eastern Cape 162452 17,0
Free State 61097 6,4
Gauteng 263166 27,6
KwaZulu-Natal 166877 17,5
Limpopo 20903 2,2
Mpumalanga 33785 3,5
North West 37491 3,9
Northern Cape 24396 2,6
Western Cape 184091 19,3
Unknown 0 0,0
Total 954258 100,0


A cumulative total of 6 269 776 tests have been conducted with 54 048 tests conducted since the last report

Our deaths continue to rise as well and today we are saddened to report an additional 411 COVID-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 101, Free State 3, Gauteng 34, Kwa-Zulu Natal 90,Mpumalanga 6, North West 6 and Western Cape 171.

This brings the total to 25 657 deaths.

We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients.

Our recoveries now stand at 811 372 but it is important to register the continued rise of active cases which now stand at 117 229.

Dr Zwelini Mkhize
Minister of Health