JOHANNESBURG

South Africa recorded 1,883 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the number of infections to 679,716, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced Saturday.

Mkhize said 29 people died from the virus during the same period, bringing fatalities to 16,938.

The new figures indicate a decline in the number of deaths but cases remain high.

The country’s top health official said the nation conducted 4.2 million tests since the virus was first detected in the country six months ago, with 21,804 performed in the past 24 hours.

At least 612,763 patients have recovered which translates to a recovery rate of 90%, he said.

South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa and is the tenth most affected country globally.

Earlier this week, Mkhize advised South Africans not to relax simply because COVID-19 restrictions have been eased or the country would risk being hit by a second wave of the virus that could be more devastating than the initial one.

“We must proceed with the same level of vigilance and care, understanding that the risk of being forced back into a hard lockdown remains very real,” he said.

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