South Africa’s COVID-19 infections have increased to 901 538 with 8 725 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
The country has conducted 6 051 986 tests with 40 751 tests in the past 24 hours.
“Regrettably, in the last 24 hours, 274 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 92 , Free State 6,
Gauteng 15, Kwa-Zulu Natal 56, Mpumalanga 4 and Western Cape 101. This brings the total deaths to 24 285”, the Health Department said in a statement.
The recoveries stand at 783 818.
Latest SA stats:
Earlier, the Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Research Innovation Platform, Professor Tulio De Oliviera, confirmed that a new variant of the coronavirus has been identified in South Africa and it is spreading rapidly.
This comes as the second wave of the coronavirus sweeps over the country.
Professor De Oliviera was part of the panel hosted by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addressing the media in an online session.
Prof De Oliviera says the new lineage of the coronavirus is dominating new infections in South Africa.
He says the new variant started spreading in the Eastern Cape and has spread along the Garden Route before spreading to KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and other parts of the country.
De Oliviera says the new coronavirus has a lot of mutations or changes in its genetic material.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee’s Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who was also part of the panel, says the second wave in the Western Cape is much more than the first wave.