S.Africa daily virus cases drop below 1,000, lowest in months

By Brenda Nakayiwa

The country is the hardest-hit in Africa, registering around half of the continent's more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases.

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South Africa has reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus infections, the lowest daily increase in three months, as health authorities warn that a second wave remains a risk.

The country is the hardest-hit in Africa, registering around half of the continent's more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases.

But the number of new infections has been declining steadily since an average daily peak of around 12,000 in July.

South Africa recorded 845 new cases on Monday, taking its total number to 639,362, according to a health ministry report released overnight. 

It also registered 115 more Covid-19 related deaths, raising its total toll to 15,004.

South Africa's number of cases is now the world's seventh-highest, down from the fifth, as it has been overtaken by Colombia and Peru.  

But Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has voiced concern about the risk of a resurgence of infections.

"We are encouraged to see some key indicators showing improvement in the state of the South African pandemic," Mkhize said in a statement on Friday.

But he warned "the threat of a second wave remains very real".

South Africa imposed one of the world's strictest lockdowns in March to curb the spread of the virus.

Restrictions have been gradually eased, with most business and economic activity now allowed to resume.

International borders remain shut, however, despite the recent reopening of neighbouring Mozambique and soon to open Namibia.