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COVID-19: Will South Africa's downward trend last?

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South Africa

Presbyterian Church caretaker Rhudzani Makuya ties white bows every morning.

Each ribbon marks each victim of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

On Tuesday he added 188 ribbons, the number of victims who died in South Africa a day earlier as the world counted over one million deaths.

Despite several countries in Europe seeing an uptick in cases since the end of lockdown, South Africa has seen infections fall since a July peak.

Back then the country was the fifth most affected in the world.

South Africa has just over 670,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the eighth-highest caseload in the world.

It's not known why cases have dropped so significantly. But not everyone thinks the downward trend will last.

"If I look at all the countries especially in the UK, Spain and all these guys that side now they've hit the second wave already, so yes it is imminent," said Casey Pillay, a manager at Enzo Wood Designs, which makes caskets.

As cases have declined, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening announced that South Africa’s borders will reopen as of Oct. 1, with visitors required to show negative coronavirus test results no older than 72 hours before departure.

Ramaphosa also announced further relaxed restrictions on public gatherings, to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors.

South Africa is by far the worst affected country in Africa with nearly half of the continent’s 1.3 million confirmed cases.

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