The National Department of Health has reported an increase of 14 046 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the largest daily jump since the outbreak was first reported in the country.
The country’s total infections has reached 954 258 cases since March, and is nearing the 1-million mark.
Daily figures are now mimicking those recorded in July, when the country was at the peak of the first wave of infections.
In a statement on Wednesday [December 23], Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said the rate of the infection is currently spreading much faster than the first wave. He also predicted that the peak would be surpassed in the coming days.
“We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage,” Mkhize said.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 23, 2020
A total of 411 fatalities were tallied between Tuesday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 22. Most of the deaths originated in the Western Cape, as well as the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
“It will be important for us to evaluate the situation in provinces, identify hotspots in these areas and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far,” Mkhize added.