SA reopens 'after the storm' as Covid-19 cases reach 653,444
"We have withstood the coronavirus storm."
With these words President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday told the nation that the lockdown would be reduced to level 1.
Shortly after his address, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced that Covid-19 recoveries in SA now stand at 584,195 - which translates to a recovery rate of 89.4%.
The cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is now 653,444 with 1,923 new cases identified over the past 24 hours.
In easing the lockdown, Ramaphosa urged people to continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
"We cannot afford a resurgence of infections in our country. A second wave would be devastating to our country and would again disrupt our lives and livelihoods," he said.
Mkhize said the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in the country is now 15,705.
There were 64 more Covid-19 related deaths since the previous update on Tuesday: 24 in KwaZulu-Natal, 14 in Gauteng, nine in the Western Cape, six in the Northern Cape and 11 in Mpumalanga.
"We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health-care workers that treated the deceased patients," added Mkhize.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 3,961,179. There were 20,962 new tests conducted since the last report on Tuesday.
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