JOHANNESBURG

The mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, has died of COVID-19, an official said on Friday.

“It is my sad duty to confirm that the Executive Mayor, Cllr Geoffrey Makhubo, has indeed succumbed to Covid-19,” Eunice Mgcina, the acting executive mayor, said in a statement.

Makhubo, 53, died on Friday morning, a week after he was admitted to hospital with COVID-19 complications.

“We had hoped that the Executive Mayor would beat the virus and return to work and lead the city as we face this pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods,’’ Mgcina said.

COVID-19 infections have spiked in South Africa in the past two months.

On Thursday, the country recorded 22,910 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of registered cases to more than 2.13 million, the highest on the continent.

South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD) said Thursday’s cases represented a 30.4% positivity rate.

Some 460 deaths were also reported in the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 63,499.

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