Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa now has 50,879 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
This is up by 2,594 from the 48,285 infections on Sunday, when the country reported 2,312 new cases.
The minister announced 82 new deaths, taking the total up to 1,080, while recoveries increased to 26,099, which translates to a recovery rate of 51.3%.
A total of 943,059 tests have been conducted to date, of which 22,983 tests have been conducted over the past 24-hour period.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) June 8, 2020
Globally, coronavirus cases topped 7.15 million globally on Monday, while deaths have exceeded 406,000, with more than 3.47 million recoveries.
New Zealand meanwhile,will remove social distancing requirements after reporting zero active cases of Covid-19, indicating it may have achieved its aim of eliminating the virus, Bloomberg reported.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said all remaining restrictions on people and businesses, other than strict border controls to keep the virus out, will be lifted at midnight, paving the way for a resumption of normal life.
The South Pacific nation earlier reported that the last of its coronavirus patients has recovered.
South Africa’s cigarette sales ban
President Cyril Ramaphosa says that a number of factors will be considered before South Africa lifts the ban on the sale of tobacco products.
Responding in a written parliamentary question from the DA, Ramaphosa indicated that there is no clear date set for when the ban will be lifted.
“At this stage, it is difficult to determine when the ban on the sale of tobacco and related products will be lifted,” he said.
“This will depend on such factors as the progression of the disease in South Africa, the readiness of our health systems and evolving knowledge on the nature and impact of the virus itself.”
Ramaphosa added that prohibition on the sale of tobacco products was not taken lightly.
“The decision to promulgate the Disaster Management Regulations, including regulation 27, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products was taken after careful consideration,” he said.
“Not only of the submissions received, but also the relevant medical literature focusing inter alia on the effects of smoking on public and individual health, especially in the face of a respiratory illness such as Covid-19.
“After my initial announcement on 23 April 2020, following representations that were made by various organisations and individuals and further consideration of relevant medical studies and advice, a different position was ultimately adopted by the National Coronavirus Command Council and thereafter by cabinet before the regulations were promulgated.”