South Africa: Covid-19 claims 848 lives in 24 hrs as infections reach 40,792

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South African president Cryl Rhamaphosa announced new measures to curb rising coronavirus cases; File Photo

South Africa said Thursday it had recorded 3,267 novel coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest jump since the pandemic hit the country.

Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths for a total of 848 fatalities.

More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region where health services are under pressure.

South Africa is the sub-Saharan African country hardest hit by the pandemic.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 27 ordered South Africans to observe a lockdown aimed at slowing the disease’s spread.

The move sharply limited people’s freedom of movement while slowing an economy already in recession.

But Ramaphosa has gradually eased the lockdown measures and allowed most of the economy to restart.

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