South African Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Thursday announced that the country now has 58,568 confirmed cases of coronavirus, reported IOL News. The number has gone up by 3,148 cases from the 55,421 infections on Wednesday when 2,430 new cases were reported.
During his visit to the Eastern Cape province, the minister said a total of 1 028 399 tests have been conducted in the country so far, of which 29,999 tests have been conducted over the past 24-hour period. He reported 74 additional deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,284. Recoveries are at 33,252, suggesting a recovery rate of 56.8%.
“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased,” the South African health minister said in a statement.
Notably, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces remain the country’s epicenter of the virus, reporting a high number of cases and deaths daily.
Mkhize raised alarm over the rising number of coronavirus infections in the Eastern Cape. He said the province had to work hard to ensure contacts were traced, isolated and quarantined. He warned that if this was not done, infections would continue to rise.
The South African health minister said the government has started a tracking and tracing platform that is currently in use in the Western Cape. He said he wanted the Eastern Cape to also take advantage of it and said the platform would be rolled out in the country in the coming weeks.
He also made an appeal to the people to change their behavior, use masks, and sanitize hands regularly to protect themselves and those around them.
South Africa is currently under a national lockdown which has been eased to alert level three since the start of June, allowing more businesses and alcohol to be sold for the first time since late March.