Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 118,375 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 6,579 cases from 111,796 cases reported on Wednesday, which is a new 24-hour high.

The minister announced 87 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,292, and a mortality rate of 1.9%, while recoveries increased to 59,974, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.7%.

A total of 1.46 million tests have been conducted to date, with 43,118 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Globally, since 31 December 2019 and as of 25 June 2020, 9.55 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including in excess of 485,000 deaths, and more than 5.2 million recoveries.

Food poses little risk of spreading the coronavirus, health experts around the globe said, reassuring consumers after an outbreak in Beijing was blamed on imported fish, Bloomberg reported.

The US Food and Drug Administration said it is “not aware of any evidence” to suggest that food can transmit the respiratory virus.

The view was echoed by Kate Grusich, a spokeswoman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said the poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces means “there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.”

Chile, the top seller of salmon after Norway, sought to persuade China that its fish is safe to import after orders were canceled. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority also said there were no known cases of infection via contaminated food.

Questions are being raised over the potential dangers of food after coronavirus infections were traced to the chopping board of a seller of imported salmon at a market in Beijing. Salmon has been taken off the shelves in major supermarkets while top experts are warning people not to consume the omega-3 rich fish.

“There’s no evidence so far showing salmon are the origin or intermediate hosts of the coronavirus,” said Shi Guoqing, an expert with the National Health Commission, in a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

Health experts have confirmed that transmission can occur indirectly, by touching a contaminated surface or object, though the US CDC said in late May that pathway probably isn’t the main way the virus spreads.

Projected infections in South Africa

Data published in a report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) projects that South Africa could have 300,000 additional coronavirus cases within the next three weeks – and deaths could triple.

The NICD published projections by the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) on June 12. The model projects that if testing patterns remain unchanged there may be more than 408,000 detected cases by mid-July.

The cumulative number of deaths by mid-July is expected to be 7,440 (with the forecast range of 3,610 to 14,000).

The NICD warned that due to the rapidly changing nature of the outbreak globally and in South Africa, the projections will need to be updated regularly and should be interpreted with caution.

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday evening that there are now 111,796 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 5,688 cases from 106,108 cases reported on Tuesday, and a new 24-hour record.

The minister announced 103 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,205, and a mortality rate of 2%, while recoveries increased to 56,874, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.9%.

Read: South Africa projected to have 408,000 coronavirus cases by mid-July