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South Africa declares second COVID wave as cases spike

South Africa declares second COVID wave as cases spike
A health worker conducts a COVID-19 coronavirus molecular test in Parkview, Johannesburg   -  
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LUCA SOLA/AFP or licensors

South Africa

South Africa declared a second wave of coronavirus as the number of cases surge.

The country registered a record 6,709 infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 828,598, with 22,574 deaths.

South Africa is the country hardest hit by COVID-19 on the continent.

The health minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement he expected faster-rising numbers with a higher peak than in the first wave.

The wave is being driven by the provinces of Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the economic hub Gauteng, Mkhize said.

The latest surge comes as millions prepare to travel to their home towns during the Christmas period.

South Africa introduced one of the world's most stringent lockdowns in March during the first wave but progressively eased measures as cases dropped.

Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new restrictions such as a curfew and a ban on alcohol sales.

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