South Africa reports 99 new COVID-19 cases

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated in South Africa as the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 2,272, up by 99 from the previous count, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Monday.

The death toll has reached 27, up by two from the previously announced figure, Mkhize said at a media briefing in Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

One of the two new deaths, a 57-year-old patient from Gauteng Province, was the first in the country who succumbed to the coronavirus without any underlying medical conditions, Mkhize said.

This patient “is causing concern to me,” he said.

The latest development came as South Africa was experiencing a second wave of transmissions involving people who came in contact with infected patients linked to overseas travel, mostly to European countries and the United States.

“At this point, we have managed to screen 438,815 people in the whole country. And we have referred out of that total, 4,537 people for testing who have gone into various government facilities for testing,” Mkhize said.

Health workers have also traced 11,406 contacts, of which 9,675 have already been identified, interviewed and processed accordingly, he said, adding that contact tracing and mass screening have been effective.