JOHANNESBURG

South Africa Sunday became the fifth worst-affected country globally in terms of coronavirus cases as infections topped 364,000 in the country.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that 13,449 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 364,328.

“Regrettably we report 85 new COVID-19 related deaths. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 5,033,” Mkhize said, adding that 191,059 people have recovered from the pandemic, which marks a 54.4% recovery rate.

Despite high infection rates, South Africa’s mortality figures remain relatively low compared Peru, Mexico and Chile, which follow the African country in the chart of cases.

On Saturday the health minister appealed to South Africans to adhere to health regulations that will help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging,” Mkhize said.

He also said poor or no social distancing is observed in communities, masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is laxity setting in around frequent hand washing.

He urged citizens to follow health regulations as laxity will directly impact the rise in COVID-19 numbers. Mkhize assured citizens that government mobilized every resource and faculty at their disposal for necessary interventions.

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