South Africa recorded 145 new COVID-19 related deaths Wednesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 17,248, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced.  

Mkhize said 1,913 people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, pushing the number of confirmed cases nationwide to 685,155.  

The minister further said that some 4.3 million people have been tested for the disease since it was first detected in the country six months ago.  

More than 23,000 people in the country were tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.  

Despite the high number of cases and increasing deaths, South Africa’s top health official said the country’s recovery rate from the pandemic was remarkable.  

“Our recoveries now stand at 618,127, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%” he said.  

South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 cases on the continent and is the 11th most affected country globally.

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