Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced a total of 50,879 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa as of 8 June 2020.
This is an increase of 2,594 from Sunday’s cumulative total of 48,285 cases.
A further 82 deaths have been attributed to the virus, bringing the total number of people who are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 at 1,080. This reflects a mortality rate of 2.1%, Mkhize stated.
This is the biggest daily increase in COVID-19-related deaths recorded to date.
Of the deaths noted in the last 24 hours, 55 are from the Western Cape, 26 occurred in the Eastern Cape, and 1 was recorded in KwaZulu-Natal.
The minister further said the total number of confirmed recoveries now stands at 26,099 – which translates to a recovery rate of 51.3%.
To date, 934,059 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the country, an increase of 22,983 over the last day.
Below is the cumulative number of recorded cases and deaths in each province.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) June 8, 2020
Cigarette ban in court on Tuesday
Government’s decision to continue its ban on cigarette sales has set the stage for fierce legal battles over lockdown regulations which prohibit the sale of cigarettes under COVID-19 alert level 4 and alert level 3.
The legal action bought by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) against the ban is set to be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday.
FITA has said that the core issue of the case revolves around whether the banning of the sale of cigarettes is rational.
The government argues that smoking could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases and even death, but FITA said this is not an issue that is limited to cigarettes.
British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) has also commenced urgent legal proceedings to challenge the ban – adding that the government had betrayed its trust after it had originally negotiated on the matter.