South Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have crossed half a million, its health ministry said on Saturday, while cases in Africa as a whole approached a million.
Africa’s most industrialised nation recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.
Just over 3 million people have so far been tested for the virus in South Africa, which confirmed its first case five months ago, and 8,153 deaths have been recorded. Africa has recorded 934,558 cases, 19,752 deaths and 585,567 recoveries, according to a Reuters tally.
South Africa imposed a nationwide lockdown at the end of March to curb the spread of the virus, but it has now eased many restrictions to boost economic activity – as have other countries across the continent, a large chunk of whose populations are poor and face hunger.
“The lockdown succeeded in delaying the spread of the virus by more than two months, preventing a sudden and uncontrolled increase in infections in late March,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a separate statement.
As restrictions have eased, infections have spiked over the last two months.
However, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilising, particularly in the worst-hit Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape provinces, Ramaphosa added.
The World Health Organisation’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan last week warned that South Africa’s experience was a precursor for what was likely to happen across the continent.
The difficulty – if not outright impossibility – of socially distancing in Africa’s poor, tightly packed urban areas, has also been an enabler for the spread of the virus.
Cases in South Africa, which has the fifth-highest total in the world, have overwhelmed an already stretched healthcare system.
That presents a cautionary tale to the other African countries, whose health services are for the most part even more stretched.
During August, the National Ventilator Project will deliver 20,000 locally-produced, non-invasive ventilators to where they are most needed, Ramaphosa said, as the government continues to mobilise additional facilities, equipment and personnel in provinces still experiencing an increase in infections.
Note: Figures valid as of 7am 8 August 2020
Austria beat North Macedonia 3-1 to secure first win in Europe
#Oniduromi: Alaseyori breaks silence in live Instagram broadcast
#TwitterBan: Buhari govt’s suspension not best solution – France
Eriksen may never play football again, warns cardiologist
Djokovic beats Tsitsipas in dramatic French Open final
JUST IN: Zambian President Lungu collapses at Defence Day ceremony
Bandits abduct 12, free two in Kaduna
JUST IN: Gunmen abduct reverend sister in Imo
VIDEO: My mom wept after she saw the video, busty wedding bridesmaid in viral video says
How I was deceived into getting pregnant at 23 – Olunloyo reveals
Hilarious reactions as Ilashe beach ‘catches fire’
I got my friend a job and she got me sacked – Lady
JUST IN: Venivici Spa founder Arinola Adeniyi is dead
VIDEO: Reactions as cow majestically ‘performs ward rounds’ in hospital
PHOTOS: Cheating mum sends romantic messages meant for lover to son
Man disappears with benefactor’s properties, leaves note begging for forgiveness
VIDEO: We were promised 1000 Naira to support Buhari – Pro-Buhari protesters
VIDEO: Is it true humans use only 10% of their brain?
VIDEO: Gov Wike shows off dance skills at ceremony in Rivers
VIDEO REVIEW: Man beats wife for feeding children with garri in Lagos, reactions of Nigerians to Twitter suspension, others
VIDEO: Can you transmit COVID-19 after being vaccinated?
VIDEO: Gombe corpers mark NYSC 48th birthday with colourful carnival
VIDEO: Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi, leads worshippers in praise songs
VIDEO REVIEW: Release of Greenfield University students, others
News14 hours ago
Democracy Day: 12 things to know about June 12
Sports20 hours ago
UFC 263: Adesanya to defeat Vettori – Experts
Sports13 hours ago
Adesanya dodging Vettori’s punches like Buhari, Nigerians reacts to UFC win
Entertainment14 hours ago
Growing up with Muslim father, Christian mum opened my mind – Wizkid
Entertainment12 hours ago
Nigerians knock Tope Alabi for condemning ‘Oniduro mi’ song
Breaking16 hours ago
UFC 263: Adesanya beats Vettori to retain middleweight title
Entertainment11 hours ago
PHOTOS: Celebrities grace Toyin Lawani’s traditional wedding
Entertainment16 hours ago
I was worried about Yemi Alade, my relatives during Lagos #EndSARS — Angelique Kidjo