South Africa reports 22 new deaths related to COVID-19

Checking temperatures in a Durban township in South Africa.PHOTO/AP
Residents look out of the window as a worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant to sanitise parts of the Alexandra’s Madala Men’s Hostel during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to try to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Alexandra, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

South Africa on Monday reported 918 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 22 new related deaths, bringing the total cases in the country to 16,433 and the death toll to 286.

The Western Cape province remains the epicenter of the epidemic in the country, with 10,035 cases and 166 deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.

The country’s total number of recoveries to date is 7,298, he added.

Mkhize said although the coronavirus pandemic remains unabated, the country is preparing to ease lockdown restrictions.

“As we prepare for the easing of lockdown regulations, high risk age groups and those with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, obesity, and people living with HIV must take extra precautions and necessary steps to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19,” he said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said last week that most of South Africa, except a number of COVID-19 hotspots, would advance to level-three restrictions later this month, which allow more businesses to reopen and greater movement of people.