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South Africa's virus variant drives holiday surge of cases

Virus Outbreak South Africa Christmas
Posted at 12:51 PM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-25 13:51:39-05

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s normally joyful and lively Christmas celebrations have been dampened by the spike in new cases and deaths driven by the country’s variant of COVID-19.

Officials said a record number of 14,305 news cases have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, and there is not yet a sign of South Africa reaching a peak, threatening the country’s health systems.

According to figures released Friday by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Africa has a cumulative total of 968,563 confirmed cases, including 25,983 deaths, by far the most cases in all of Africa. Africa’s 54 countries, representing 1.3 billion people, have together reported more than 2.59 million cases, including more than 61,000 deaths.