South Africa has registered a record number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as at Saturday evening after 7 210 new cases were confirmed. As it stands, the country, which continues to be the epicentre of the virus in Africa, has 131 800 confirmed cases.

According to the statement released by the Department of Health on Saturday evening, a total of 73 new COVID-19 related deaths were also recorded, bringing the death toll in the country to 2 413, which translates to 1.8% mortality rate.

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On a positive note, there has been 67 094 recoveries, translating to a 50.9% recovery rate.

South Africa currently has 62 293 active cases.

A total of 1 529 009, of 35 905 were done in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Public health experts have urged South Africans to continue to stay at home despite the loosening of lockdown restriction and strictly adhere to precautionary measures when they go out. They are also warning that the number of new coronavirus cases in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape is now rising faster than in the Western Cape, which is considered to be the epicentre of the pandemic in South Africa.

Public Health Expert, Doctor Kerrin Begg, says, “The reality is that we will only know when the peak happened after the fact. We certainly know that the active cases in the Western Cape are plateauing and so, that gives us some hint that we are starting to head towards the peak now. But we won’t know until after the fact, but the reality is as I say that we have diagnosed very few of the actual cases and therefore, what we all need to be doing unfortunately, is living on islands and staying at home.”

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) says that to date, 74% of the total of both prisoners and officials that tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) have recovered. From a total of 2 245 COVID-19 infections, the DCS has 559 active cases.

57 of the 559 active cases are prisoners, who also account for 1 217 of total cases.

The department has recorded 45 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24-hour cycle.

The Eastern Cape DCS has recorded most cases, accounting for 1 050 of the country’s total COVID-19 cases. 327 cases in the province are officials while 723 are inmates. The province has also recorded six deaths and 848 recoveries.

The DCS head office has recorded the least number of cases as six officials tested positive. Only one person has recovered and no deaths have occurred.

The statement below contains more details regarding COVID-19 cases at Correctional Services facilities: