- South Africa officially breaches the one million mark for Covid-19 cases.
- This after just more than 9 000 new cases were recorded on Sunday.
- The first reported Covid-19 cases in the country was 5 March.
South Africa has breached the one million case mark for total Covid-19 cases since March, with 9 502 new infections announced on Sunday night.
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, as of 27 December, the total number of people who have been infected with Covid-19 stands at 1 004 413.
In addition, a further 214 deaths bring the total number of people who have died from the virus or related complications to 26 735.
Recoveries currently stand at 844 874, translating to a recovery rate of 84.1%.
The first Covid-19 case in the country was reported on 5 March.
At the time, Mkhize said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases had confirmed a positive Covid-19 case in KwaZulu-Natal.
He added the patient was a 38-year-old male who had travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people.
Later in March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced stringent national lockdown restrictions.
As of 26 December, the country was among the top 20 in the world for both total cases and total deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard.
On Wednesday, Mkhize said the increases indicated the virus continued to spread exponentially, faster than the first wave, adding the peak would be surpassed in the coming days, News24 reported.
He warned South Africans that the government would need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures.
Mkhize added it would be important for the situation in provinces to be evaluated and hotspots identified, so they could make recommendations based on the findings and outcomes of what had been implemented in the hotspots which have been identified so far.
Earlier on Sunday, News24 reported the National Coronavirus Command Council was due to meet on Sunday amid calls from hospitals and healthcare workers for harsher restrictions.
Doctors, nurses, medical organisations and labour unions have all sounded the alarm, raising concerns about a healthcare system under severe strain.
Hospital staff are stretched, while hospitals - both private and public - are either at full capacity or close to it.
Last week, Netcare and Mediclinic both announced they were limiting surgeries.
There are also concerns that a mutation of the virus has a more severe impact on those infected, though this has not been confirmed by official research as yet.
Speaking during a briefing earlier this month, Mkhize assured South Africans there was no need to panic.
"It is important to reiterate that while this mutation is cause for concern, there is no reason to panic," he said at the time.
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