Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has again appealed to people to continue to practice COVID-19 safety measures, which include social distancing, washing of hands and wearing of masks in trying to reduce the spread of the virus.

His comments come as the country has nearly 2 000 deaths, after another 53 people died in the past 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 1 930.

The infection rate is nearing the 100 000 mark with 97 302 confirmed cases.

Mkhize says if people don’t change their behaviour and adhere to preventative measures, the number of COVID-19 cases are going to skyrocket.

He says: “Currently, we are talking about 97 000, but in a few weeks we will be talking about several hundred thousand and that is because of this behaviour.”

“Wait for two weeks you will see the impact of the recklessness, how it will actually translate in the numbers of more new infections. The real risk is when those numbers are so huge that even our hospitals can’t cope. We have managed it so well up to now, we need to really maintain the balance as we move into the next few weeks.”

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have increased by 4 621 to 97 302. South Africa has now recorded 53 new deaths, bringing the country’s total COVID-19 related deaths to 1 930.

South Africa has a 1.98% COVID-19 mortality rate.

The Western Cape remains the province with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, accounting for 52.9% of the country’s total, having recorded 51 441 infections. The province has also recorded the most deaths, accounting for 1 419 of total fatalities in South Africa.

The Western Cape has also recorded 35 559 COVID-19 recoveries. It is followed by Gauteng with 20 822 cases, accounting for 21.4% of South Africa’s total infections. The province also accounts for 122 of the country’s COVID-19 related deaths. It has also recorded 264 recoveries.

Although the Eastern Cape has recorded less cases of COVID-19 than Gauteng, the province has recorded more deaths as 285 people have died from the novel virus in the province; 163 more than Gauteng.

Seven-thousand-738 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the Eastern Cape.

Dr Mkhize says three confirmed cases remain unaccounted for.

The 60-69 age group has recorded the most deaths, accounting for 506 (26.2%) of total fatalities, followed closely by the 50-59 age group which has recorded 471 (24.4%) deaths.

Only three children aged between 0-9 years have died from the disease.

Males account for 52% of total deaths, while females account for 47.9%. The gender of two (0.1%) people is unknown.

A total of 1 328 608 tests have been conducted in the country so far, 34 452 of them conducted in the last 24-hour cycle.

South Africa has recorded 51 608 recoveries, which translates to a recovery rate of 53%.

Currently, the country has 45 694 active cases.

Below is the COVID-19 SA infection tally: