South Africa has now registered more than 500,000 cases of coronavirus, the health ministry announced.
"Today South Africa has exceeded the half-a-million mark with a cumulative total of 503,290 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded," Heath Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.
Not only does South Africa’s caseload account for more than half of Africa’s caseload, we also have the highest death toll on the continent: xxx out of Africa’s total toll of 19 693.
The deaths recorded per province during the last 24 hours are as follows: 36 from Eastern Cape, 40 from Gauteng, 41 from KwaZulu Natal, 24 from Western Cape and 7 from Northern Cape. This brings the death toll in South Africa to a total of 8 153.
In total, 3 001 985 tests have been conducted since the novel coronavirus first broke out.
South Africa, with a population of about 58 million, has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world, behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India, all countries with significantly higher populations, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic worldwide is much higher than confirmed cases, due to limited testing and other reasons.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, designated under section 3 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), signed and gazetted an amendment to the regulations for the advanced COVID-19 Alert Level 3 Lockdown.
The regulations were gazetted by the Minister after consultation with other Cabinet members. The amendments include changes to the curfew times, the return of both contact and non-contact professional sports and further opening of the tourism sector.
The curfew is between 22h00-04:00 under level 3, updated to allow movement for the purpose of the provision and procuring the services permitted in these regulations. Under these amendments, Intra-provincial accommodation for Leisure is also permitted.
The amendments are a result of the government’s continued effort to balance the overriding objective of saving lives and protecting livelihoods of South Africans. We should all continue to exercise caution and observe safety protocols including wearing of masks in public and social distancing, among others.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization warned the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be "lengthy", as it met to evaluate the situation, six months after sounding the international alarm.
The WHO emergency committee "highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic" when it met on Friday, the WHO said in a statement, warning of "the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures".
More than 17.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. Almost 10.3 million patients have recovered and at least 680,900 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.