South Africa on Friday recorded a record tally of new COVID-19 infections, with more than 24,000 cases in the continent's country hardest hit by the coronavirus, official figures showed.
The latest infections identified in the past 24-hours surpass the peak of 21,980 in January and take the new cumulative total past two million.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases "reports 24,270 new COVID-19 cases... which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,019,826,".
South Africa's death toll from the virus reached 61,332 after another 303 deaths were registered on Friday.
"We are indeed... in the eye of the storm of the third wave of the COVID-19 as we can see over the last 14 days, we have surpassed the levels of daily infections" seen during the first two waves, Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla told a news briefing earlier on Friday.
South Africa is facing what president Ramaphosa described as a " massive resurgence of infection" driven by the Delta variant.
Last week he reimposed restrictions for 14 days, banning alcohol, shutting schools, eateries and barring all gatherings, except for funerals, where numbers are capped at 50.
The country's vaccination drive has been slow with around 3.2 million people having been immunised since February out of the 59 million population.
© 2021 AFP