S. Africa reports record daily increase in COVID-19 cases

South Africa reported 1,837 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase since the country confirmed its first case in early March, bringing the total to 29,240, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.

“Regrettably, we report 34 more COVID-19 related deaths — this brings the total national deaths to 611,” Mkhize said in his daily update on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far, the nationwide count of recoveries stood at 15,093, with a recovery rate of 52.4 per cent, he said, adding that a total of 680,175 tests have been conducted, with 24,452 tests done in the past 24 hours.

The Western Cape province remains the epicenter in the country with 18,906 cases, followed by Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, each with 3,583 cases, and KwaZulu-Natal with 2,428 cases.

The Western Cape, which also has the highest number of 437 deaths among all the provinces, is expected to see the peak of COVID-19 either at the end of June or beginning of July, Western Cape Governor Allan Winde said on Friday.

A total of 7,800 hospital beds would be required at the height of the epidemic and 9,300 people could die, Winde said in a statement.