South Africa reports daily record of 26,976 COVID-19 cases

Passengers, some wearing masks, wait for their taxi to leave the Baragwanath taxi rank in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday Dec. 2, 2021. (Photo by Jerome Delay via CFP)
Passengers, some wearing masks, wait for their taxi to leave the Baragwanath taxi rank in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday Dec. 2, 2021. (Photo by Jerome Delay via CFP)

South Africa on Wednesday announced a record 26,976 new COVID-19 cases from a sample size of 83,864 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 3,231,031.

The new daily tally surpassed a peak of 26,485 new cases registered in early July during a third wave driven by the Delta variant.

The figures were published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, which also noted that in the same period, 54 deaths were registered, binging the total number of virus-related fatalities to 90,226.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, accounting for 35.93 per cent of the continent’s reported cases and 39.98 per cent of its deaths.

The country was the first to report a case of the new Omicron variant, which has sparked concern across the world. So far, nearly 80 countries globally have reported cases of the new strain.

Health authorities are banking on vaccination and other supporting restrictions to contain further spread of the virus.

So far, more than 27.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the country, with the number of fully vaccinated persons accounting for 25.5 per cent of the country’s population.