S.Africa COVID infections hit five-month high

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South Africa's COVID-19 infections jumped by 13,246 on Wednesday, the highest daily total in five months, government said.

The figure is almost double the weekly average for the past seven days, and compares to 8,436 recorded the previous day.

"These concerning figures represent the highest number of daily cases and positivity rate recorded since January 2021," the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday extended a nightime curfew and limited alcohols sales in a bid to contain a third wave of infections.

The country, the worst affected by the pandemic on the continent, has seen the daily figures for new cases double over the past two weeks, while hospital admissions have climbed by nearly 60 percent over the same period.

The spike comes as South Africa struggles to roll out its inoculation programme.

The new infections take the total cases to 1,774,312 including 58,118 fatalities.

© 2021 AFP

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