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Pretória, South Africa | South Africa has the highest number of infections with covid-19 in the last three months, the authorities announced Friday, with the minister of health considering the resurgence of contagions “worrying”.

“In recent days, we have seen worrying signs of an increase in the level of infections,” said Health Minister Joe Phaahla, quoted by the French news agency, France-Presse (AFP).

According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), 4,631 cases of infection were reported in the last 24 hours, and 4,406 new cases had been registered the day before. The numbers released Friday show an increase of almost 1,300 cases compared to the average reported last week.

More than half of the new cases on Friday were recorded in the most populous province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg, while the province of KwaZulu-Natal, hit by floods in recent weeks, recorded the second highest number of new infections.

At the beginning of March, the country had gone 48 hours without a single death related to covid-19, the first time this had happened since 2020.

South Africa, with a population of almost 57 million, is the African country most officially affected by the virus, with more than 3.7 million cases and more than 100,200 deaths.

In total, since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, there have been 11.3 million infections, which have resulted in 251,000 deaths on the continent, the director of the African Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC) said this week.

John Nkengasong, adding that last week’s trend, from 11 to 18 April, shows an increase of 16,500 new cases, which represents a decrease of 21% compared to the previous week’s numbers.

“The countries with the most new cases in this period were South Africa, with over 9,000 infections, followed by Egypt, Tunisia, Seychelles and Zambia”, pointed out the official.

Regarding the number of deaths, the outlook is even more positive, with a 55% drop in the number of deaths, which fell from 323 to 144 deaths between 11 and 18 April, compared to the previous seven days. The average of the last four weeks also shows a slowdown in contagions, which fell by 7%, as well as the number of deaths, which fell by 8%.

The covid-19 disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

The rapidly spreading and mutating Ómicron variant has become dominant in the world since it was first detected in November in South Africa.

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