The number of COVID-19 cases has reached 609 773 in South Africa after 2 743 new cases were identified on Sunday, August 23.
Meanwhile, the death toll has now jumped to 13 059 since the outbreak in March.
Of the new 72 new COVID-19 related deaths, 41 are in Gauteng, 12 in KwaZulu-Natal, 11 in the Eastern Cape and eight in the Western Cape.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
The provinces with the highest number of infections include Gauteng with 206 018 cases, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 109 841, Western Cape 104 588 and Eastern Cape 85 203.
Free State has 34 980 cases, North West 24 301, Mpumalanga 23 100, Limpopo 12 563 and Northern Cape 9 129.
Fifty cases remain unallocated.
The number of those who have recovered stands at 506 470, which translates to a recovery rate of 83%.
The information is based on the 3 553 425 tests done to date, with 18 358 conducted since the last report.
Mzansi now over the peak
In an interview on television, Dr Mkhize said the country might be over the surge.
“The plateau has started. In the Western Cape, it’s been over two months. Cases in KwaZulu-Natal are also decreasing. That is indicative of a promising time,” he said.
However, Mkhize said the real risk government is worried about is resurgence if people neglect precautionary measures.
“The message we are sending is for everyone to take personal responsibility,” he said, adding that other countries have had to re-impose restrictions.
“We will have to do the same if people start behaving complacently. We hope we don’t have to go in that direction. It is a decision that is not taken lightly. We do think it’s possible for people to exercise social behavioural changes.”
Mkhize pleaded with the nation to focus on containment measures such as wearing of masks, washing hands regularly, sanitising and maintaining social distancing.
Globally, as of 23 August, there have been 23 057 288 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 800 906 deaths reported to the World Health Organisation.