The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the official death toll from COVID-19 in South Africa has topped the 70 000 mark after another 243 people died in the last 24-hour testing period.

However, the real death toll could be far higher given the large number of excess deaths reported since the start of the pandemic.

The NICD says the coronavirus test positivity rate has dipped below 25% and now stands at 24.3% – still almost five times higher than when the virus spread is considered to be under control.

The NICD says another 5 683 new cases of the virus have been reported overnight, but this is on the back of a lower number of tests.

A snapshot of COVID-19 numbers in South Africa: