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South Africa reports +12,000 new COVID-19 cases, total surpasses 300,000 mark


FILE PHOTO: Medical workers disinfect equipment at an isolation ward in a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua)

South Africa’s Ministry of Health reported 12,757 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday which saw its total number of cases exceed the 300,000 mark.

“Today, we have exceeded the 300,000 mark to reach a cumulative total of 311,049 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa,” a statement from the ministry said.

“The total number of tests conducted to date is 2,278,127 with 45,389 new tests conducted since the last report,” it added.

According to the ministry’s analysis, Gauteng province, identified as the country’s COVID-19 epicentre, accounts for just over 36 percent of the total number of cases with 112,714.

Health minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said that special interventions in the province were being implemented, including additional nursing staff and fast-tracking beds.

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The Western Cape, which is now a distant second, has 81,556 cases (26.2 percent), followed by Eastern Cape with 55,584 cases (19.4 percent) and North West with 11,225 cases (3.6 percent).

Despite a continued surge in cases, South Africa remains caught up between imposing tougher restrictions to curb the virus’ spread and reviving the economy.

The ministry also reported 107 new fatalities from the virus with Gauteng (41), again, accounting for more than a third of them (38 percent).

“Regrettably, we report a further 107 COVID-19 related deaths- 4 from KwaZulu- Natal, 12 from North West, 12 from Eastern Cape, 38 from Western Cape and 41 from Gauteng Province. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 4,453.”

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Meanwhile, the number of recoveries rose by 14,414 to stand at 160,693 which took the national rate to more than 50 percent at 51.7 percent.

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