By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - South Africa is now the sixth worst-hit country in the world in terms of coronavirus cases.
The country with the highest number of infections on the continent has bypassed Chile, Mexico, Spain and the UK in terms of COVID-19 cases, but fatalities in the country remain relatively low.
South Africa on Friday reported 135 more virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,804.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that 13,373 new cases were recorded, bringing the total number of infections to 337,594. A total number of recoveries reached 178,183.
He said the country has conducted 2.3 million tests for the virus with 48,130 new tests concluded over the past 24 hours.
South African health officials expect an increase in infections as the country is currently in its winter season.
In an address to the nation on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa advised South Africans to follow COVID-19 measures seriously.
He said the country has been recording over 10,000 new cases every day, which is equivalent to 500 new infections every hour.
“Scientists and other scenario planners have presented us with models that project that South Africa may have between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths before the end of this year,” Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation.
"We must make it our single most important task to prove these projections wrong. Through our own actions – as individuals, as families, as communities – we can and we must change the course of this pandemic in our country," he said.
The president advised citizens to always wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth whenever they leave their homes, sanitize and maintain social distancing.