South Africa recorded 2,213 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours bringing the number of infections to 746,945, health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Friday.

He said 77 new deaths were recorded pushing the death toll to 20,153. From that number, 16 occurred in the past 48 hours and the remainder in the past 24 hours.

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank health care workers that treated the deceased patients,’’ said Mkhize.

The minister said nearly 700,000 patients have recovered from the virus, with 5 million tests conducted since the virus was first detected in the country eight months ago.

South Africa has the highest case numbers of COVID-19 on the continent and is the fourteenth most affected country globally.

President Cyril Ramaphosa cautioned South Africans earlier this week against ignoring preventative measures to avoid pushing the country into a second wave of the pandemic that could be worse.

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