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COVID-19 claims 52 more lives, total deaths at 481 in SA

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has also confirmed the number of people who've tested positive for the virus has risen to 23,615.

FILE: The Western Cape still accounts for the majority of cases followed by Gauteng. Picture: 123rf.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Fifty-two more people have died from the coronavirus in South Africa, bringing the national death toll to 481.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has also confirmed the number of people who've tested positive for the virus has risen to 23,615.

The latest breakdown in figures shows a child under the age of nine has died after contracting COVID-19.

More people have managed to overcome the virus with the recovery rate now sitting at more than half. This means there are more than 11,600 active cases at the moment.

Nearly 600,000 people have been tested to date across the country, however, there seems to be a global shortage in resources hampering efforts to increase testing.

South Africa is preparing to move to level three lockdown next week, meaning schools will be reopening along with many more sectors of the struggling economy.

Of those new fatalities, 49 have been recorded in the Western Cape alone.

The province accounts for over half of all COVID-19 cases in the country.

Premier Alan Winde said 554 people are in hospital;It 139 of them are in ICU or high care.

Winde said more than 124,000 tests had been completed, which he said represented a 400% increase in the number of tests conducted since 25 April.

However, he is concerned about the backlog in the processing of tests.

Winde said the backlog in the Western Cape had now grown to approximately 18,000 tests.

“It’s very difficult because testing is your ability to measure and gives you the ability to manage. We have written to the president and engaged with the minister of health on this issue.”

Meanwhile, the Tygerberg district remains the highest in the province with 2,311, followed by Khayelitsha with 1,940.