KZN tipped to take over from Gauteng as SA's next Covid-19 epicentre

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jul 21, 2020

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal is expected to become South Africa's next Covid-19 epicentre. This is according to National Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who noted that while the Western Cape and Eastern Cape's cases were stabilising, KZN is expected to take over from Gauteng with a surge in cases.

On Monday, KZN recorded 45 614 cases, an increase of 2 399 from Sunday.

Mkhize said Gauteng still remained the province with the highest figures.

On Monday, Mkhize said the country's confirmed Covid-19 cases stood at 373 628 with 140 new deaths reported.

Of the cumulative figure, 45 614 of the cases were from KZN. KZN has also recorded 429 deaths with 13 494 recoveries.

Gauteng recorded 36 879 cases and the Western Cape 85 772, and 65 316 cases were from the Eastern Cape.

Mkhize said officials from his office were in talks with leadership in KZN on how to move ahead as infections were expected to peak in the next few weeks.

He added the goal now was to avert a shortage of beds and oxygen.

On Sunday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala hosted a briefing where he shared insights on the impact of Covid-19 in the province.

Zikalala noted the surge in cases continued with eThekwini and uMgungundlovu recording more than half of the daily cases.

He said the overall incidence risk for the province was 250 cases per 100 000 population.

According to Zikalala, by July 18, just over 1 600 people had been admitted to hospital.

"Of those admitted, 265 patients were in ICU with 139 needing to be placed on a ventilator. Other patients were admitted to high care wards," he said.

The premier once again urged residents to continue the fight against the pandemic.

"There are no police officers; or government officials that can enforce the change in behaviour at home and at an individual level. Our defence weapons are our face masks, social distancing and regular washing of hands. Remember that there is no vaccine. The price to pay for not adhering to the protocols is too high; it is in our hands to save ourselves and those we love from this deadly pandemic," he said.

The Mercury

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