ABUJA, Nigeria 

South Africa recorded 40 new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities to 19,879, health ministry officials said Sunday.

It also announced 1,731 people were diagnosed with the virus, pushing the number of cases to 735,906.

South Africa has had the highest number of COVID-19 infections on the continent and is the thirteenth most-affected nation globally.

It has conducted more than 4.8 million tests for the virus since it was first detected seven months ago.

The US, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.

Nearly 50 million cases have been reported worldwide, with 33 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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