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The Department of Higher Education has invested more than U.S.$4.7 million into Covid-19 research and vaccine development. A further U.S.$1.7 million has been allocated to the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform to combat SARS-CoV-2 variants. This comes as the nation records a decline in the number of Covid-19 infections, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. “We must thank South Africans for adhering to the regulations, as difficult and frustrating as it may be. Every sacrifice made has saved lives and we appreciate the patriotism South Africans are displaying to protect the sanctity of life,” he said. Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee Chairperson, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, warned that despite declining case numbers, caution must still be exercised. “We’re still in the throes of the second wave … It is crucial to ensure we can maintain the decline we are observing, which will be threatened by the increased movement of people across provinces and into places of congregation,” he said. As of 19 January, 2021, South Africa has confirmed 1,346,936 cases of Covid-19 of which 37,449 proved fatal and 1,117,452 resulted in recoveries.

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