Cape Town, May 26 : South Africa on Monday recorded 52 more deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily increase since the outbreak in early March, taking the death toll to 481 in the country. The country also reported 1,032 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total cases to 23,615, Xinhua quoted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize as saying. The total number of recoveries nationwide stood at 11,917 as of Monday, Mkhize said, adding that a total of 596,777 tests have been conducted, with 12,992 tests done in the last 24-hour testing cycle.
The Western Cape province remains the epicenter of the pandemic with 15,396 cases, followed by Gauteng with 2,993 cases, the Eastern Cape with 2,748 cases and KwaZulu-Natal with 1,882 cases, Xinhua reported. Despite the rapid spread of the pandemic, the country is preparing to ease the lockdown from level four to level three, starting from June 1.
Level three will allow 8 million people to return to work with the opening up of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people. President Cyril Ramaphosa said the decision to further ease the lockdown was based on wide consultations with various stakeholders across the country and guided by advice from the World Health Organisation and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (UNI)