A further 243 people have succumbed to the coronavirus in South Africa, taking the overall death toll to over 70 000.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), 70 018 people have succumbed to the virus in the country since last year.

Sinenhlanhla Jimoh, the spokesperson for the NICD, said: “As per the National Department of Health, a further 243 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total fatalities to 70 018 to date.”

Jimoh said 14 587 196 tests had been conducted in both public and private sectors.

She said the NICD continued to monitor the spread of the virus in the country in order to inform the public health response.

More than 5 600 new infections were recorded on Sunday.

Jimoh said: “Today the institute reports 5 683 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 383 490. This increase represents a 24.3% positivity rate.”

Gauteng, with 27%, and the Western Cape, with 21%, had the most new infections in the country. They were followed by KZN, with 15%, Mpumalanga, 10%, and the Eastern Cape, 8%. Limpopo accounted for 6%, the Free State and North West each accounted for 5%, and the Northern Cape accounted for 3% of the new cases, said Jimoh.

More than 479 people were admitted to hospitals due to Covid-19, with a total of 16 412 people in hospitals across the country.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the country on an adjusted level 3 lockdown from Monday this week, easing lockdown restrictions, allowing the sale of alcohol, among other changes, and reinstating the R350 social relief grant.

The president said restrictions were being eased as it appeared that the country had passed through the worst of the third wave storm.


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