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S. Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 35,000

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South Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surged to 35,812 on Tuesday, the second day the country further eased lockdown restrictions.

In the past 24 hours, the country reported 1,455 new cases, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said before ending a two-day visit to the Western Cape to assess the province’s readiness to cope with the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Western Cape remains the epicenter of the pandemic with 23,583 cases as of Tuesday, comprising about two thirds of the national tally, according to Mkhize.

The country eased the lockdown from level four to level three on Monday, allowing some eight million people to return to work and the reopening of most businesses.

The move sparked concern over infection transmissions at a faster pace.

Mkhize emphasized the need for behavioral change in the fight against COVID-19 following the further easing of restrictions.

“We need social behavioral change. There’s the formula, it’s going to be like that, we’re going to repeat it, we’re going to do it everywhere until we get over this thing,” the minister said.

Infections must be curbed so that the health system was not overwhelmed, he stressed.

Community testing was gaining momentum, according to Mkhize.

A total of 761,534 tests have been conducted to date, with 18,792 tests done in the last 24 hours, said Mkhize.

On Monday, the country reported 22 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 705, while the total national recoveries stood at 16,808.

(XINHUA)

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