South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll edges towards 19,000

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A medical worker checks the temperature of a local resident during a regional health screening program in Rustenburg, South Africa on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. South Africa is mid-way through a three-week national lockdown and has sealed off its borders in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 1,749 people so far and claimed the lives of 13. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A medical worker checks the temperature of a local resident during a regional health screening program in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

South Africa’s Ministry of Health reported 20 more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic raising the nationwide total to 19,809.

“Regrettably, we report 20 COVID-19 related deaths today: 19 from Eastern Cape and 1 from Gauteng, This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 19 809. Of the 20 deaths reported today, 1 was reported to have occurred in the past 24-48 hours in Gauteng,” a statement from the ministry on Sunday read in part.

The ministry also reported 1,372 new confirmed cases taking the total to 737,278. According to the ministry, the cumulative number of tests conducted to date was 4,980,440 with 17,266 new tests conducted since the last report.

The country’s recovery rate also stood at 92 percent with 950 new recoveries pushing the total to 679,688.

In September, the nation’s Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize said the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa were reducing but warned the country was not yet out of danger yet.

Mkhize has repeatedly urged all South Africans to adhere to the existing containment measures in order to prevent a potential second wave of the coronavirus.

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