South Africa is likely to hit 600,000 Covid-19 cases on Thursday or Friday, after 3,916 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that there were now 596,060 confirmed infections across the country. More than half of these cases were in Gauteng (202,011), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (107,271) and the Western Cape (103,210).
There were 159 deaths in the past 24 hours, said Mkhize, taking the death toll to 12,423 to date.
Of the new deaths, 37 were in the Eastern Cape, 43 in Gauteng, 45 in KwaZulu-Natal, five in the Free State and 29 in the Western Cape.
The minister also announced that there were 491,441 recoveries – a recovery rate of 82%.
The figures are based on 3,455,671 total tests, of which 25,324 were in the last 24-hour cycle.