South Africa reported a record of 17,710 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the previous high set at 14,500 several days ago.
“As of today, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases identified is 1,039,161 with 17,710 (positivity rate 33%) cases identified since the last report,” the health ministry said in a statement.
“The positivity rate, being an indicator of the rapidity of spread, remains of major concern,” the health ministry added.
According to the government, South Africa, which has the highest number of cases on the continent, has been battling a major surge of coronavirus infections since the end of November, owing largely to a new strain of a virus called 501.V2.
It has put a severe strain on hospitals with some medical facilities overflowing with patients, pushing the government to impose more strict lockdown measures.
The number of deaths a day has risen to an average of nearly 500 in the past few days, with the total death toll at more than 28,000