Coronavirus: 'Rapid increases' in South Africa cases as more than 500,000 test positive

Coronavirus: 'Rapid increases' in South Africa cases as more than 500,000 test positive

South Africa has confirmed more than 500,000 coronavirus cases, as the number of infections in the African continent climbs towards one million. The country reported a daily rise of 10,107 new COVID-19 infections. This brings the total to 503,290 - the fifth-highest worldwide, behind the US, Brazil, India and Russia, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US. Denis Chopera, a virologist based in Durban, said: "Half a million is a significant milestone, because it shows we've entered a stage of rapid increases. We may reach one million cases very quickly." Many experts think South Africa could reach the peak in cases in late August or early September. Mr Chopera added: "What we know for sure is that the figures are an underestimate and that this virus will be with us for a long time to come." Just over three million of South Africa's 58 million people have been tested since the country's first case was confirmed five months ago. Gauteng, which includes South Africa's largest city Johannesburg and its administrative capital Pretoria, is the current epicentre of the virus. But Mr Chopera said provinces such as Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal could fare badly with a big increase in cases, as their health systems are less prepared. "They may have serious problems," he said. The number of deaths stands at 8,153 in South Africa. There have been around 684,000 worldwide. South Africa went into lockdown at the end of March but many restrictions have been eased to ...
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