200518 South Africa
A billboard is installed on an apartment building encouraging people to wear face masks in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, May 16, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Johannesburg: South Africa on Sunday reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, data released by the health ministry showed

“As of today, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 15,515 with 1,160 new cases identified in the last 24 hour cycle of testing,” said the ministry statement.

The Western Cape province, popular with tourists, accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the national numbers.

The numbers of deaths rose by three to 263 from Saturday.

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Africa’s most industrialised economy has the highest numbers of infections in Africa, followed by Egypt which has so far recorded 11,719 COVID-19 cases, including 612 deaths.

The country has been under a lockdown since March 27 and has embarked on an aggressive mass-testing strategy with 460,873 tested so far.

But some health experts are beginning to see the limits of the country’s lauded mass screening strategy, with results taking up to two weeks to come through.