South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa on Thursday reported 1,134 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest daily record since the country recorded its first case in early March.

With the newly-added cases, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa stood at 19,137, the highest on the African continent.

“Regrettably, we report 30 more COVID-19 related deaths – this brings the total national deaths to 369,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.

According to Xinhua, the new deaths also broke the daily record since March 5 when the country’s first infection was detected.

Nationwide, a total of 525,433 tests have been conducted to date, with 18,572 tests done in the past 24 hours, said Mkhize. The Western Cape province has 12,153 cases, the highest among all the nine provinces, to be followed by Gauteng with 2.453. The Western Cape also reported a total of 235 deaths, comprising about two thirds of the national death toll.

According to Western Cape Governor Allan Winde, the transmission in the province has been concentrated around essential services clusters, care homes and the poorest communities in Cape Town.

“We are on the upward part of the curve as per the nature of the pandemic and are expecting to see case numbers increase more rapidly, with associated increases in hospitalization and deaths,” Winde said.

The province, he said, is scaling up isolation and quarantine off-site, but this will reach its limit soon as the number of infections rise in line with the ascending curve. The number of undetected cases will continue to grow unless major increases in testing capacity is provided, Winde said.