Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, raised alarm about the rise in positive Covid-19 cases in South Africa.
“Over the past week, there has been an increase of 9.1% in new cases,” he said, noting an increase of 10.7% over the past two weeks.
The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 710 515 after another 2 156 people tested positive on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 102 more people passed away, pushing SA's death toll to 18 843.
“Of the 102 deaths reported today [Thursday], 20 occurred in the past 48 hours,” Mkhize said, adding that 25 788 tests were performed since the last report.
The Minister has once again urged South Africans to continue wearing masks while in public, washing their hands frequently, and practice social distancing to curb the spread of the virus.
“Fellow South Africans, when we emphasise that the high risk of resurgence remains high, we do not do so to instil fear in you… The only weapon we have against COVID-19 is our social behaviour and constant adherence to health protocols,” Mkhize said.
According to Mkhize, the Western Cape Health Department has identified the specific Covid-19 hotspots responsible for the surge in that province which sparked a 42% increase in the new infections.
“We must remain vigilant,” the Minister pleaded.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has appealed to WC residents to continue to take the necessary precautions.
"We also call on businesses and places where people are allowed to gather, including churches and government buildings, to ensure that the necessary safety protocols are in place."
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 41 104 946 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1 128 325 deaths reported, globally.