The number of new COVID-19 cases identified on Wednesday is 8 686, bringing the number of infections since the outbreak to 529 877.

With 414 new fatalities reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll now stands at 9 298.

Of the additional deaths, 135 were recorded in the Eastern Cape, 122 from Free State, 62 from KwaZulu-Natal, 45 from Gauteng, 34 from the Western Cape and 16 from Mpumalanga.

The hardest-hit provinces are Gauteng with 185 282 cases, Western Cape 98 031, KwaZulu-Natal 87 798 and Eastern Cape 80 400.

The Free State has 25 232 cases, North West 20 686, Mpumalanga 17 135, Limpopo 9 625 and Northern Cape 5 638.

Fifty cases have still not been allocated.

“The number of recoveries currently stands at 377 266, which translates to a recovery rate of 71%,” Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said.

A total of 3 113 191 tests have been conducted, with 34 989 new tests conducted since the last report.

In his update address on Wednesday, the Minister said while he is cautiously optimistic about the decrease of infections, it is still too early to make definite conclusions regarding the observed decline.

“We need to continue to track all these indicators and ensure that our testing capacity reflects a realist picture of our epidemiological status. We will therefore only know for sure when there is a consistent decline over a period,” Mkhize said.  

According to the World Health Organisation, there are 18 354 342 cases and 696 147 deaths worldwide.

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