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Edging on 100k mark –SA has recorded 92,681 COVID-19 cases

The health ministry has reported 92, 681 infections so far and 4,966 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

FILE: Gauteng healthcare workers screening Alexandra residents for coronavirus (COVID-19) on 31 March 2020 following the roll out of massive community screenings and testing programmes by the provincial executive council. Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is approaching the 100,000 mark.

The health ministry has reported 92, 681 infections so far and 4,966 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

This is the highest daily surge since the outbreak in March.

Forty-six (46) more people have succumbed to the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,877.

The deaths were recorded in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The health ministry says the recovery rate is at 54.3%, meaning just over 50,000 people have recovered.

These latest figures come as more of the lockdown regulations were eased by the government, allowing the personal care, accommodation and entertainment industries (cinemas) to open their doors.

After many weeks of not being able to operate, beauticians, hairdressers, and salons are relieved to finally open for business.

Salon owner at Fabulous Hair Design, Phibi Fortuin says it's been a tough few weeks not being able to run her business as normal.

Fortuin said she was concerned because she had staff she had to pay and her own expenses to cover.

Now, she said she was more at ease because soon she will be able to operate again.

“I was like would I still have a business, do I need to use my savings to pay for my rent and other expenses. I was stressing because I didn’t know what to do."

But some, like Indalo Nubian Naturals, the announcement came too late.

The haven for women, men, and kids with natural African hair, has been sadly forced to close its doors in Johannesburg as a result of the crippling impact of the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa.

Owner, Smangele Sibisi said: “I am angry, I am hurt, I am devastated. Twenty-nine families didn't have anything to survive on for almost three months, I can’t begin to understand what the entire beauty and hair industry went through without having any income."

Sibisi says she was left with no choice but to make the decision to close the Johannesburg branch and keep the one in Pretoria as rent was manageable and also to return the company car as advised by debtors to stop missed payments from creating unsalvageable arrears.

The industry was given the go-ahead to resume operations immediately on Friday, but most businesses are expected to be fully operational on Monday, 22 June 2020.

Additional reporting by Lungelo Matangira, and Kaylynn Palm