The funeral service for the late Regent of the Royal House of the amaRharhabe, Queen Noloyiso Sandile, took place yesterday at Mngqesha Great Place, outside King William’s Town.  Picture: Mandla Nduna/Office of the Eastern Cape Premier
The funeral service for the late Regent of the Royal House of the amaRharhabe, Queen Noloyiso Sandile, took place yesterday at Mngqesha Great Place, outside King William’s Town. Picture: Mandla Nduna/Office of the Eastern Cape Premier

25 KZN wedding goers test positive for Covid-19

By Lyse Comins Time of article published Jul 13, 2020

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Durban - Twenty-five KZN wedding goers who ignored lockdown regulations have tested positive for Covid-19, adding to the growing surge of 1 000 new Covid-19 infections recorded daily in the province.

During a media briefing yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala warned that the government would strictly impose the lockdown level 3 regulations to clamp down on people attending weddings and parties. The high number of people attending funerals would also not be tolerated, he said.

Zikalala said the government was concerned about infections reported following social gatherings.

“Over the past seven days, we have noted with concern the number of infections reported after people have attended gatherings such as ceremonies and funerals. In most of these engagements, measures like social distancing and the wearing of masks have been disregarded,” Zikalala said.

“We have been made aware that a sizeable group was reported to have attended a wedding last weekend. A number of people from the wedding fell sick, and 25 from the group who attended the wedding tested positive.

“Today, some of them are occupying Covid-19 beds in health-care facilities,” he said.

Zikalala said the province would be guided by scientific analysis and the national leadership regarding enforcing lockdown regulations.

“We are not going to accept meetings such as weddings and parties. These should be scaled down, and if people meet, it should be virtually,” Zikalala said.

He added that the government’s medical and scientific team had projected the province would record more than 200 000 infections by mid-July.

Zikalala said it had been a “very difficult week” during which 98 people in the province had died of Covid-19, while the province was mourning the death of Queen Noloyiso Sandile, the daughter of King Cyprian Bhekuzulu ka Solomon and sister of King Goodwill Zwelithini, as well as the loss of Provincial Legislature member and ANC provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 as a final farewell for the late Queen Noloyiso Sandile. The queen, the widow of the late King Maxhobayakhawuleza Sandile, was the daughter of the late King Cyprian Bhekuzulu ka Solomon and the sister of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: Mandla Nduna/Office of the Eastern Cape Premier

“Each day, we are increasingly being catapulted from being in the eye of the storm towards being firmly entrenched in the middle of a raging and violent hurricane. But this is no time to lose the war. We need to wage a relentless fight against this invisible enemy,” Zikalala said.

KZN had 23 751 positive cases, of which 17 450 were still active; 280 deaths, and 6 021 recoveries as at July11.

“A week ago, we had 13 984 cases, of which 9 605 were active, 182 deaths, and 4 197 recoveries. This therefore means that in just one week, we have had 9 767 new Covid-19 cases, 98 new deaths, and an additional 1 824 recoveries,” he said.

“KZN is currently on a surge, recording above 1 000 cases daily. We are still the fourth highest-ranking province,” he said.

“We also looked at the projected ICU admissions, which were just above 5 000, and we are sitting at just above 45 patients in ICU and high care,” he said.

However, he said the rise in infections was “worrying”.

He said eThekwini accounted for 53% of cases provincially, and 67.4% (184) of deaths, while the median age of death was 62.

“KwaZulu-Natal recorded its first paediatric death since the beginning of the pandemic. The deceased is a 5-month-old who had been admitted with tuberculosis,” he said.

The most common recorded comorbidities included hypertension (29%) and diabetes mellitus (30%), while the proportion of HIV-infected (8%) deceased had risen.

“The number of deceased with no recorded comorbidities has also increased. There is also an increase in the number of patients who are dying on arrival, as well as home deaths,” he said.

Zikalala said the province currently had 7111 beds, and more were being created through engaging with private hospitals and the hospitality industry for quarantine beds. Currently, there are 17450 active cases of which 1444 patients had been admitted to hospital, and 16006 were in self-isolation.

“We are also erecting field hospitals, with four expected to be finished by the end of this month. These increases, added with the possibility of oxygen flow in the refurbished hospitals, and the availability of the dexamethasone drug, which is the medicine recently authorised for use in Covid-19-positive patients, makes us feel we will still be able to manage the surge in positive cases,” he said.

He added that at most schools, Grade 6 and Grade 11 pupils had returned to class smoothly.

“We continue to monitor the infection rates at schools. To date, we have 873 cases in KZN schools involving teachers, pupils, staff such as gardeners, grounds people and other officials,” he said.

The Mercury

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