According to findings by Johns Hopkins University, South Africa, with a population of about 58 million, now has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world, behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic worldwide is much higher than confirmed cases, due to limited testing and other reasons.
South Africa last Saturday also surpassed 500,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, representing more than 50% of all reported coronavirus infections in Africa’s 54 countries. “Half a million is a significant milestone, because it shows we’ve entered a stage of rapid increases. We may reach 1 million cases very quickly,” said Denis Chopera, a virologist based in Durban. “What we know for sure is that the figures are an underestimate and that this virus will be with us for a long time to come.”
According to AFP reports, South Africa’s Gauteng province — which includes Johannesburg, the country’s largest city and Pretoria, the capital — is the country’s epicentre with more than 35% of its confirmed cases. Local hospitals have been struggling to cope, and health experts say the country could reach the peak of its outbreak in late August or early September.Cape Town, a city beloved by international tourists at the country’s southern tip, was the first epicentre and reached its peak last month, according to health experts