'We can eradicate coronavirus': Ramaphosa on 500,000 Covid-19 cases

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The Gauteng province, home to the capital city of Johannesburg, has reported 35 percent of the country's cases, making it the epicenter of the virus in South Africa.

A total of 3.04 million million tests have been conducted, with 34,794 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, the minister said.

"After a rapid rise in infections over the last two months, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilizing", said Ramaphosa.

Meanwhile, India recorded its steepest spike of 57,118 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, taking its total coronavirus cases close to 1.7 million, with July alone accounting for almost 1.1 million infections.

Africa's most industrialised nation recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that while South African hospitals had so far managed to cope with the infection, there have been some struggles, particularly in the Eastern Cape. South African authorities are also working to root out corruption in the purchase and distribution of medical equipment, he said. "As with many other countries across the world, we need to continually adjust the measures we take to prevent new outbreaks or to safeguard our health system", he said.

A cemetery in the Gugulethu township outside Cape Town, South Africa, in May 2020.

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So far, the number of fatalities stands at 8,153, although local researchers have recorded a jump of almost 60 percent in the overall number of natural deaths in recent weeks, suggesting a far higher toll of coronavirus-related fatalities than officially recorded.

Even with South Africa's caseload ranked among the top five for confirmed cases globally, it is ranked 17th in the death rate, according to JHU data.

The influx of patients has put an incredible strain on South Africa's hospitals, and a BBC investigation found an array of systematic failures that had exhausted healthcare professionals and brought the health service near to collapse.

Speaking at the National COVID-19 Conference on Friday he explained the projects - which he said would aid biomanufacturing, development of personal protective equipment and good hygiene practice.

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that South Africa's experience was a likely a precursor to what would happen across the rest of the continent.

The figures mean the country has reported 54.1 percent of the continent's cases and 41.4 percent of its deaths. Covid-19 is known to have a higher mortality rate for older age groups.

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