COVID-19 deaths pass 5,000 mark

A crew of a private ambulance service in Port Elizabeth wear personal protective equipment (PPE) ahead of checking on a patient affected by COVID-19.

File: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some parts of South Africa.

AFP/Marco Longari

JOHANNESBURG - The number of COVID-19 deaths in South Africa has passed 5,000 after another 85 patients died.

A total of 30 new deaths have been reported in Gauteng, 26 in the Western Cape, 15 in KwaZulu-Natal and 14 in the Eastern Cape.

READ: Gauteng COVID-19 infections stabilising: Masuku

A total of 13,449 new infections were also diagnosed, taking the number to 364,328.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize urged citizens to respect the recommended hygiene measures.

"As government, we have mobilised every resource.... But government cannot manage this unilaterally," he said in a statement.

"We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging.

"We see poor or no social distancing in communities. Masks are abandoned or not worn properly," he said.

"This will directly influence the rise in numbers in the next two weeks. Our ability to break the cycle of infections depends on our willingness to remain focused and disciplined and take non-pharmaceutical interventions seriously," the minister said.

READ: Coronavirus reveals 'fragility of our world': UN chief

The total number of tests conducted to date is 2,471,747 with 49,006 new tests conducted since the last report.

The good news is that more than 191,000 patients have recovered from the virus. This is a recovery rate of over 52 percent.

- Additional reporting AFP

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