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Suffering the full brunt of a third wave of contamination, South Africa recorded a record 24,270 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, to exceed a total of two million cases, according to official figures.
South Africa is the country most affected by the Delta variant on the continent. On Friday, July 2, it identified 24,270 new Covid-19 contaminations. Friday’s numbers set a daily record, surpassing the previous one of 21,980 recorded in January 2021.
“This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,019,826,” the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement.
The total number of deaths stands at 61,332.
South Africa is bearing the brunt of a third wave that President Cyril Ramaphosa has described as “a massive resurgence of contaminations” caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Restrictions, but businesses remain open
The president announced on Sunday new restrictions in the country: closure of schools, extension of the curfew (now in effect from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.), ban on gatherings indoors or outdoors – except for funerals , with a maximum of 50 people able to attend – and ban on the sale of alcohol.
Shops remain open, to provide maximum support for the country’s economic activity, whose GDP collapsed by 7% in 2020.
The vaccination campaign started with difficulty in February, and only 3.2 million people have so far been fully vaccinated, out of a population of 59 million. To accelerate it, the country is in the process of setting up a “technology transfer center” for anti-Covid messenger RNA vaccines, thus providing the African continent with a production capacity.