South Africa reported 1,767 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 674,339, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced late Wednesday. 

Mkhize said 67 more people had succumbed to the disease, pushing the number of fatalities to 16,734. 

The country’s top health official further said that 608,112 people had recovered from the virus, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.  

He said 4.1 million tests have been conducted since COVID-19 was first detected in the country six months ago. 

On Tuesday, Mkhize advised South Africans not to relax now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased 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 a hard lockdown remains very real,” he wrote on Twitter. 

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

South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa and is the 10th most affected country globally.

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