South Africa on Thursday recorded 3 267 new Covid-19 cases, the country’s biggest jump since the pandemic began three months ago.
The country is the worst hit in sub-Saharan Africa and has 40 792 known cases, nearly a quarter of all cases on the continent while its number of deaths, 848 are ranked second only to Egypt which has 1 126 fatalities.
Nearly two-thirds of South Africa’s cases are in the major tourist destination, Western Cape province, where Cape Town is the biggest city.
This is happening when the country is slowly easing lockdown restrictions which were initially imposed on the country on 27 March.
The strict lockdown regulations limited freedom of movement and also slowed the economy that was already in recession.
The Cyril Ramaphosa led administration succumbed to pressure from the citizenry and opposition parties and started relaxing restrictions and on Monday, the restrictions were eased to level 3 which opened up large parts of the economy and abolished curfews.
The situation is a hazard to neighbouring Zimbabwe both in health and economic sense. Zimbabwe depends on South Africa for imports and a huge number of Zimbabweans work in South Africa and remit money to Zimbabwe.
A large number of returnees from South Africa constitute the largest percentage of coronavirus cases recorded in Zimbabwe.