South Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 600,000, the health ministry said although the number of new cases has been declining since a peak in July.
Despite imposing one of the world’s toughest lockdowns at the end of March when the country had only a few hundred cases, South Africa saw a surge in coronavirus infections that has left it the hardest hit on the continent.
The ministry said in a statement that more testing has made the cases to surge.
South Africa now had a total of 603,338 cases and 12,843 deaths – accounting for more than half of the continent’s cases and around 47% of its deaths, according to a Reuters’ tally of government and World Health Organisation data.
Africa’s most industrialised economy reported 3,398 new cases on Friday, compared with a peak of over 13,000 cases a day seen in July.