For the third time within a week, South Africa reported more than 400 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday night.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize revealed in his daily update that the country now has 8 232 confirmed cases, which represents an increase of 424 compared to Wednesday.
Both Mkhize and health experts have warned that with the relaxation of lockdown measures, the country will see a spike in new infections.
South Africa’s overall death tally now stands at 161.
Mkhize has reiterated calls for South Africans to continue practising social distancing and improved hygiene as lockdown restrictions are eased.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 7, 2020
The minister also reported eight more deaths linked to the coronavirus, six of which were in the Western Cape and two in KwaZulu-Natal. The two provinces have the highest number of Covid-19 deaths, at 79 and 40 respectively.
Mkhize noted that almost 12 800 Covid-19 tests had been done over the previous 24-hour period, which takes the total number of tests done countrywide to 292 153. Around 49% of the tests have been now carried out by public sector health facilities, as government expands its mass testing programme.
The Western Cape now accounts for almost 4 000 confirmed cases, followed by Gauteng with over 1 800 and KwaZulu-Natal, with more than 1 200 cases. The Eastern Cape now has more than 900 cases, the Free State 134, while the other provinces are still in the double digits.