South Africa’s health authorities announced a new record high at the weekend following an unusually sharp rise in Covid-19 infection figures.
The continent’s most severely affected country in terms of numbers recorded the most coronavirus cases since the beginning of the year on Saturday, with a total of 26,485 new infections per day.
The clear focus remains the conurbation around Johannesburg and Pretoria in Gauteng province, which alone registered 16,091 new infections that day.
South Africa is in the grip of the highly contagious Delta variant and has significantly tightened its coronavirus restrictions as the health infrastructure is at capacity.
The new restrictions include a ban on alcohol and extensive bans on outdoor gatherings, in addition to nightly curfews after 9 pm.
So far, around 2.1 million cases have been documented in South Africa, with some 62,000 people having died as a result of infection.
The restrictions so far have had a devastating impact on the economy. Millions of people are struggling to survive, while poverty and food insecurity have worsened dramatically in just a few weeks.