South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll closed in on the 60,000 mark on Friday as the country aims to ramp up vaccinations to help curb further spread of the virus.
The country health ministry reported 215 new fatalities recoded in the last 24 hours, taking the virus-related death toll to 59,621.
In the same period, 18,762 new infections were registered, raising the number of confirmed cases to 1,895,905.
South Africa remains to be the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa.
The country’s caseload accounts for 35.28 percent of Africa’s total infections while its death toll represents 42.52 percent of the continent’s fatalities.
Earlier, health officials said the country is planning to more than double its rate of daily COVID-19 vaccinations over the next month to more than 200,000 as more Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson shots arrive.
Currently, the number of COVID-19 vaccinations in the country stands at 2.5 million out of a population of 60 million people.