Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Covid-19 cases declining in three provinces, says Mkhize

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Aug 5, 2020

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Cape Town - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has indicated that the government was pleased at indications that the three provinces with the most Covid-19 infections had reached their peak of transmission.

Mkhize said Gauteng, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape were currently displaying a consistent trend of decline in infections, with other provinces like KwaZulu-Natal also expected to soon reach their peak.

Mkhize was on Wednesday morning giving a situational update on the spread and state of the fight against the global pandemic as SA marked exactly five months since the first confirmed case in the country on March 5.

Around 521 318 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed to date, with deaths from the virus having risen to 8 884.

Gauteng remains the epicentre with 183 090 cases or 35.1% of South Africa’s total cases, and with 2 268, followed by Western Cape with 97 261 infections and 3 245, while the Eastern Cape recorded 79 844 infections and 1 832 deaths.

“The three might well have actually got the surges reached already and that we might be picking up a slightly downward decline,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said Gauteng had been showing a consistent decline in transmissions over the past weeks despite the sporadic increases that saw it surpassing the Western Cape as the epicentre after the easing of the hard national lockdown in June.

“That clearly indicates to us that there is a decline in Gauteng. During this time we have all felt the pressure. There were reports that hospitals were full and so on, and we went around and confirmed that it is the admission areas that were filling up. The field hospital beds have never been full. Even today we have not filled Nasrec,” he said.

Mkhize said the decline in the rate of spread of the virus, which was accompanied by an impressive recovery of 363 751 people, was proof that the containment measures imposed by the government were working.

He warned South Africans not to let their guard down and continue to practise social distancing, sanitizing and the wearing of face masks.

Political Bureau

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