Deaths from the coronavirus passed the 10,000 mark Saturday in South Africa after registering 301 new COVID-19 fatalities, according to nation’s health minister.
The health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the number of people who have died from the virus stands at 10,210 and the total number of confirmed cases is 553,188 after 7,712 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.
‘‘We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased,’’ he said.
Mkhize said the country has conducted 3.2 million tests with 36,607 performed in the past 24 hours.
The Western Cape province, popular for tourism, has the highest number of deaths with 3,376, followed by Gauteng which includes Johannesburg and the capital of Pretoria, has 2,547.
More than half of the deaths registered on Saturday were in the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province
The National Assembly announced Saturday that the KZN-based veteran opposition politician and lawmaker 91-year-old Mangosuthu Buthelezi, had tested positive for coronavirus, but was asymptomatic.
Eastern Cape has 2,129 deaths and the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal recorded 1,346 fatalities. The remaining five provinces each has less than 400 cases.
‘‘The number of recoveries currently stands at 404,568 which translates to a recovery rate of 73%,” said Mkhize.
South Africa is the fifth most-affected country in terms of COVID-19 infections, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.