In a statement released on Saturday night, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Saturday stand on 1 520 206, and the total number of deaths on 50 647.
The total number of recoveries were 1 439 515.
Some good news for the day was that a milestone of more than 100 000 healthcare workers getting vaccinated against the disease had been reached.
According to Mkhize 101 573 vaccine doses had been administered under the Sisonke Protocol by Saturday.
Of the 81 new deaths, 29 were in Gauteng, 8 in the Free State, 16 in KwaZulu-Natal, 16 in the Northern Cape and 12 in the Western Cape.
The global Covid-19 picture:
More than 116 million cases of the disease had been recorded worldwide by Saturday, while more than 2,5 million people have reportedly died.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 522,879 deaths, followed by Brazil (262,770), Mexico (189,578), India (157,656) and Britain (124,419).
– Presidents vaccinated –
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro are both vaccinated, in a bid to lead by example as their countries’ inoculation campaigns get underway.
– Sweden arrests –
Swedish police arrest two people and six officers are injured during clashes on the fringes of a banned protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Several hundred people staged Saturday’s protest in central Stockholm to denounce the government’s handling of the pandemic as well as media coverage of the crisis.
– French weekend curfew –
After the Mediterranean city of Nice and the Channel port of Dunkirk, the northern region of Pas-de-Calais entered a weekend lockdown to try to slow the soaring caseload there.
Police in Paris meanwhile close off the banks of the Seine as people out to enjoy the sunshine ignore social distancing guidelines.
– Warning on women –
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the pandemic risks rolling back progress made on gender equality, as women take on the lion’s share of childcare in lockdown and are more likely to work in at-risk jobs.
“Once again it’s more often women who have to master the balancing act between home schooling, childcare and their own jobs,” she said.
– DIY tests –
Germans flocked to supermarket chain Aldi to snap up the first rapid coronavirus tests to go on sale nationwide, with stocks selling out within hours.
Rival discounter Lidl saw its website crash after it started offering at-home testing kits for sale online.
– EU-US talks –
The EU will open talks with Washington on Monday to ensure its supply of US-made materials for coronavirus vaccines, a European source told AFP. These items are currently under tough export restrictions.