South Africa on Saturday reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily jump on record for the country as it hurtles towards an anticipated spike.
Daily tallies released by the health ministry showed 10,853 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the cumulative tally since March when the virus first arrived in the country to 187,977.
The death toll stands at 3,026 after 74 new fatalities were recorded.
Health authorities have been expecting a surge in cases after the gradual loosening of a strict lockdown that was imposed on March 27.
With the nation’s economy projected to shrink more than seven percent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — the worst slump in 90 years — the government is battling to strike a balance between saving lives and the economy.
“What we have been seeking to do is to balance… saving lives of our people and also preserving liveloods, and it’s a delicate balance,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.
Africa’s most economically developed country now has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the continent.