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South Africa fatalities rise as Eastern Cape reports highest death toll

The pandemic's worst-hit African nation saw its Covid-19-related fatalities rise to 7,812, with the Eastern Cape province reporting the most deaths.

Johannesburg (South Africa), 24/07/2020.- Family members wearing full PPE suites as they stand at the graveside of an elderly family member who died as a result of the elderly Covid-19 Coronavirus at a graveyard on the 119 day of lockdown due to the Covid

South African health minister Zweli Mkhize announced late on Thursday that the country has witnessed a new surge in Covid-19-related fatalities as the country has registered 317 new deaths due to the virus, of which 121 were reported by the Eastern Cape in the last 24 hours, to take the death toll caused by the pandemic up to 7,812.

96 deaths were reported by Gauteng, 55 from KwaZulu-Natal, 34 from the Western Cape, and nine from the North West.

Coronavirus cases in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng represent 35.6% of the country's total as both provinces combined have reported 171,574 infections so far, while 69% of fatalities were reported by the two provinces.

Good recovery rate

Despite the high number of fatalities reported by the Eastern Cape, the province has achieved a relatively good recovery rate of 83%, at a time when the national recovery rate stands at 64%. August is foreseen to be the toughest month the province is set to go through as the number of infections might double. "Our forecast is that August is the eye of the Covid-19 storm. All of us must buckle up because we are about to have tough times. We expect a surge in infections to almost double over the next six weeks," said Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane earlier.

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Mkhize also revealed that as of 30 July, South Africa has reported a total of 482,169 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 11,046 new infections, while the number of tests conducted in the country so far is 2,918,049.

The minister also sent his condolences to the families and friends of the deceased patients who passed away following their struggle with Covid-19 and didn't forget to thank the medical staff fighting in the line of duty. "We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased," he said.


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