The COVID-19 pandemic continued unabated in South Africa, with 9,300 new confirmed cases reported in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said early Tuesday.
South Africa has seen rapid rises in confirmed cases, particularly in recent days, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue a warning.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases in South Africa now stood at 373,628, making the country on top of the African continent in terms of the rate of infections.
The COVID-19 death toll in South Africa has risen to 5,173, of which 140 were recorded in the past 24 hours, Mkhize said.
Gauteng, the smallest and most populous province in the country, has remained the epicenter with 136,879 cases since July 9.
On Monday, the WHO warned that South Africa’s growing COVID-19 cases should be an alert to the rest of the continent to strengthen disease surveillance.
Among African countries, “South Africa may unfortunately be a precursor, it may be a warning for what will happen in the rest of Africa,” WHO’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan said in Geneva.
This isn’t just a wake-up call for South Africa but also for the African continent, Ryan said.
The situation in South Africa should be taken “very very seriously,” said Ryan.