The Covid-19 death toll rose to 286 as the country records 16,433 confirmed cases, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

While the Western Cape remains the province with the highest infection rates at 10,035, the Eastern Cape, which now has 2,052 Covid-19 cases is fast catching up with Gauteng, which has registered 2,343 cases to date, while KwaZulu-Natal has 1,567 confirmed cases. 

Infection rates in Free State, which has 163 confirmed cases, Limpopo (88), Mpumalanga (76), North West (72) and Northern Cape with just 37, have still maintained low infection rates.  

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The number of tests conducted is 475,071, with 14,198 done in the last 24 hour cycle. 

The minister of health has said  once more that the 22 deaths, bringing the death toll to 286 within the 24-hour period are regrettable.

“We wish to express our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who cared for the deceased,” he said, adding that the total number of recoveries to date was 7,298. 

The health minister cautioned that those South Africans and people in the country who were vulnerable should take stock of their health.

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“As we prepare for the easing of lockdown regulations high risk age groups and those with co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, obesity and people living with HIV must take extra precautions and necessary steps to avoid possible exposure to Covid-19,” Mkhize said in the statement.