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South Africa becomes first African nation to hit record of one million COVID-19 cases

South Africa has become the first African nation to record one million coronavirus cases, according to new data published by the country’s health ministry on Sunday.

Currently suffering a second wave of infections, of which the majority are a new variant of the coronavirus, South Africa is the hardest hit country in Africa, with 1,004,413 infections and 26,735 deaths, the data showed.

As of 1900 GMT, a total 2,658,646 cases were recorded in Africa and 62,649 fatalities, according to an AFP tally.

Last week, South Africa recorded a daily average of 11,700 new infections, up 39 per cent over the previous week.

For three consecutive days, from Wednesday until Friday, the daily number of new cases topped 14,000, but dropped sharply again on Saturday and Sunday.

Authorities are considering reimposing restrictions to rein in the spread of the virus, and president Cyril Ramaphosa could give a television address later this week.

Morocco is the second hardest hit African country, with 432,079 cases and 7,240 deaths, followed by Egypt with 131,315 cases and 7,352 fatalities, Tunisia with 130,230 infections and 4,426 deaths and Ethiopia with 122,413 and 1,901 respectively.

Africa has not been as hard hit by the coronavirus as other regions, such as Europe with more than 25 million infections, the United States with 19.5 million, Latin America and the Caribbean with 15 million, Asia with 13.7 million and the Middle East with close to four million.

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