Covid-19 update: SA reports 726 cases and 33 deaths

South Africa has reported 726 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,968,931. This increase represents a positive outcome rate of 7.2%.

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (38%), followed by the Western Cape (23%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 13%; Mpumalanga and the Free State each accounted for 7% respectively. Northwest accounted for 6%; The Northern Cape and Eastern Cape accounted for 3% each, respectively; and Limpopo accounts for 1% of today’s cases.

The country also recorded 33 deaths, of which 5 occurred in the last 24-48 hours. This brings the total death toll to date to 101,350.

“Due to ongoing audits by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a buildup of reported Covid-19 deaths,” the NICD said.

Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 53.

25,376,754 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

Beijing to reopen schools, jobs as Covid-19 restrictions ease

This week, Beijing will gradually lift restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, city officials said on Sunday.

After some easing in recent days, the Chinese capital, which reported 19 new infections on Sunday, announced that residents will begin returning to work from Monday and schools will reopen from June 13.

China is pursuing a zero-coronavirus strategy consisting of tight lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods to destroy clusters as they emerge.

This strategy means movement restrictions in major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, a metropolis of 22 million people where the Covid-19 outbreak in April resulted in just under 2,000 infections.

From Monday, restaurants will be able to accept customers again if they tested negative in the previous three days, and public transport will operate as normal, the city government said in a statement.

Two districts of the capital will maintain restrictions.

In Shanghai, most of the city’s 25 million residents have been able to move freely since Wednesday.

But hundreds of thousands still face restrictions after being identified as close contacts of infected people.

Additional AFP reporting