JOHANNESBURG 

South Africa reported 81 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24-hour period, bringing the total number of fatalities to 16,667, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced late Tuesday.

Mkhize also said the country had registered 903 new COVID-19 cases for a second day in a row, putting the total number of cases at 672,572.

The country’s top health official said 4.1 million tests have been conducted since it was first detected in the country 6 months ago. Meanwhile, 12,011 new tests were conducted in the past 24 hour.

Mkhize advised South Africans not to relax now that COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, or they risk being hit by a second wave of the virus which could be more devastating than the first one.

“We must proceed with the same level of vigilance and care, understanding that the risk of being forced back into hard lockdown remains very real,” he wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.

The minister also said government can never allow the virus to run rampant, causing massive loss of life.

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

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