South Africa reported 1,461 new infections of the novel coronavirus Monday, taking the number of confirmed cases in the country to 705,254, according to the Health Ministry. 

Another 21 people succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 18,492, the ministry added.

Health staff in the country have conducted over 4.5 million virus tests so far, while more than 635,000 people have recovered from COVID-19.

South Africa continues to register the highest number of coronavirus cases on the African continent.

COVID-19 has claimed more than 1.11 million lives in 189 countries and regions since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December.

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

Over 40.3 million cases have been reported worldwide with recoveries exceeding 27.6 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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