KZN expected to be the next epicenter, Mkhize cautions

Published Jul 21, 2020


DURBAN - While the number of new Covid-19 cases is stabilising in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal is expected to join Gauteng as the country’s epicentre, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has warned.

“In the country, Gauteng is still at the top of the rate of infections. KwaZulu-Natal is taking over now,” Mkhize said.

As of 21 July 2020, South Africa has 373,628 coronavirus cases, 5,173 deaths and 194,865 recoveries.

KwaZulu-Natal's daily new infection rate is on the rise, with 2,300 new cases confirmed over the past 24-hour cycle.

Mkhize said his department is in discussions with the coastal province on how to move ahead, as infections are expected to peak in the next few weeks. He said the goal now is to avert a shortage of beds and oxygen.

He has applauded the clinicians for a job well done in the battle to save lives and he once again affirmed his support. “There’s no formula or textbook for this. Whenever as you clinicians feel the pressure, you need to make sure that everybody feels it, so that we must respond,”

“My phone is on. Do not feel shy to call. This is an emergency, a crisis, so there is no protocol here. There is work,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize said the department is working around the clock to create more bed capacity so no one is turned away at hospital gates. “There are those who may not be admitted because of the doctor’s decision, that’s it. It will not be because of space, but because of the clinical judgement that you are going to be treated somewhere else and not in the hospital,” explained the Minister.

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