South Africa marked another sombre Covid-19 milestone on Monday night, as cases passed the 200,000 mark.
Only 14 other countries have now recorded more cases of the respiratory illness.
There were 8,975 new cases of the virus reported since Sunday, taking the national total from 196,750 cases to 205,721 – and in the process passing Germany (which recorded about 300 new cases in the same period) to become the 15th or 14th worst-hit country in the world in terms of total cases.
SA recorded its first confirmed Covid-19 case on March 5, when a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife tested positive. Twenty-two days later, the first fatality was reported.
On June 6, SA had 45,973 confirmed cases – meaning that there has been a 159,748 increase in the past month.
Another indication of the rapid spread of the virus is that, a week ago, on June 29, SA had 144,264 cases. This means there has been an increase of 61,457 in just 7 days.
The last time fewer than 5,000 cases were reported in a 24-hour period was on June 24, when 5,688 infections were announced. The last time fewer than 2,000 new cases were reported over a 24-hour period was on June 3, and the last time fewer than 1,000 cases were reported was on May 26.
In releasing these figures on Monday, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize also confirmed there were 111 additional Covid-19 related deaths recorded since Sunday’s statistical release.
This takes the country’s total fatalities to 3,310 – the 24th highest global death toll.
The most recent fatalities were recorded in Gauteng (50), Western Cape (35), Limpopo (17) and Eastern Cape (9).
Of the new infections, the majority were in Gauteng, which is soon expected to overtake the Western Cape as the virus epicentre in SA. Currently, Gauteng has 66,891 total cases (3,487 in the past 24 hours), and the Western Cape 70,938 (of which 1,407 were in the past 24 hours).
In terms of fatalities, the most deaths have been recorded in the Western Cape (2,101), followed by the Eastern Cape (528), Gauteng (403) and KwaZulu-Natal (183).
There have also been 97,848 recoveries reported to date.
The data is from a total of 1,864,111 overall cases, of which 33,950 were done in the past 24 hours.