(TELESUR) – Over 8,700 infections were confirmed Thursday, taking the country’s total count to 168,061.
On Thursday, over 8,700 infections were confirmed, taking the country’s total count to 168,061, according to Health Ministry data, while deaths rose by 95 to 2,844.
The surge comes as the government has allowed businesses to reopen in recent weeks to stave off economic disaster after a strict two-month stay-at-home order worsened already high unemployment and drastically increased hunger.
In the country’s largest city of Johannesburg, officials said they were considering reimposing some restrictions to try to slow the quickening spread of the virus.
“We’re seeing a spike in infections in Johannesburg. The number of people that we are diagnosing daily now is absolutely frightening,” said Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, who is leading a vaccine trial in South Africa in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s University of Oxford.
“Who we are finding positive now is an indication of who will be in hospital three weeks from now,” he was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.