NATIONAL NEWS - As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 655, 572, with 2,128 new cases identified.
The country has also recorded 67 more Covid-19 deaths: 3 from Eastern Cape, 20 from KwaZulu-Natal, 13 from Gauteng, 12 from Western Cape and 19 from Limpopo. The total number of deaths is 15,772 and the total number of recoveries is 585, 303.
“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the deceased and thank the health care workers that treated the deceased patients,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended South Africa for its declining confirmed Covid-19 cases.
In a statement on Thursday, the WHO said it was greatly encouraged by the ongoing measures to suppress the spread of SARs-COV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
It added South Africa had taken decisive steps such as “instituting response co-ordination mechanisms at all levels, setting up control interventions for all critical pillars of response and imposing public health and social measures, including movement restrictions, curfews, closure of businesses, schools and places of worship”.
The WHO said it was these public health measures that helped to limit the exponential spread of the coronavirus and allowed the country to establish capacities for testing, isolation and treatment of cases as well as tracing and quarantine of contacts.
Following the peak of confirmed Covid-19 cases, daily infections in South Africa have been on the decline, with the country now entering its sixth consecutive week of decline.
It is currently recording fewer than 2 000 cases per day juxtaposed against two months ago when around 12 000 new cases were being recorded daily.
“The strong commitment and leadership by the South African government have been and continue to be instrumental in combating the Covid-19 pandemic,” its regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said.
“Without this dedication, we would not be where we are today.
“The latest trends in South Africa are clearly encouraging. However, we must remain vigilant and be prepared to effectively tackle any resurgence. We are not yet out of the woods and so we must not relax.”
News24 previously reported the country was on its way to reaching the threshold of a country with low-level Covid-19 transmission.
This according to leading epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim.
But it is not out of the woods yet, with Karim warning there was a continued risk and threat of having another wave of infections.
Following the downward trend of new infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening announced the easing of lockdown regulations with a move to Level 1.