South Africa has recorded more than one million Covid-19 infections following the discovery of new variant of the virus.
The country has now confirmed 1,004,413 Covid-19 infections and 26,735 deaths since the outbreak began in March.
There has been a spike in cases at hospitals and medical centres as the country becomes the first in Africa to hit the one million mark.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce tougher restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading further.
Last week, South Africa recorded a daily average of 11,700 new infections, an increase of 39% compared with the previous week.
But from Wednesday to Friday, the daily number of new cases surged to 14,000.
The new coronavirus variant – known as 501.V2 – is believed to be driving the surge in infections. It was discovered by South African scientists in the Eastern Cape Province and then rapidly spread to other parts of the country.
The UK has since banned travel from South Africa because of the new variant.
Another new Covid variant has already been detected in the UK, although they have evolved separately.
Both have a mutation – called N501Y – which is in a crucial part of the virus that it uses to infect the body’s cells.