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SA Records 7,210 New COVID-19 Cases

South Africa has reported 7,210 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily surge yet.

In its daily report, the Health Department said the total number of confirmed cases in the country had risen to 131,800.

Seventy-three new deaths have been recorded bringing the death toll to 2,413.

The Western Cape province remains the epicentre of the pandemic with 59,315 cases, followed by Gauteng with 34,285 and the Eastern Cape with 23,658.

The pandemic has taken its toll on schools following the phased reopening of grade 7 and grade 12 classes earlier this month.

The Basic Education Department said 700 schools across the country had to close at some stage following infections among teachers and pupils.

More than 520 pupils and 1,169 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since schools reopened three weeks ago.

Despite growing calls for the government to cancel its school reopening program, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said her department would go ahead with the plan for phased reopening of schools.

All provinces are now finalising management plans for the return of grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, and 11 on 6 July.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases globally have surpassed the 10 million grim milestone.

The virus has killed almost half a million people in just seven months.

The massive increase comes as many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.

North America, Latin America and Europe each account for around 25% of cases.

The first cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed in Wuhan in China before infections and fatalities surged in Europe, then the United States, and later Russia.