Cape Town - The number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in South Africa have increased to 2028 Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.
This is an increase of 25 new cases from Friday's number. South Africa has also recorded another Covid-19 related fatality, bringing the number of deaths to 25.
The latest case is a 61-year-old male from the Western Cape. According to Mkhize, he had underlying medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
The total number of Covid-19 tests conducted across the country to date stands at 75 053, Mkhize said.
Across the African continent there are 12 700 infections, with 2050 recoveries, and 666 associated deaths reported, the World Health Organisation African Region said on Saturday.
On Saturday, experts shared their concern about sleeper Covid-19 infections which could be devastating for the country.
Professor Alex van den Heever, who holds the Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at Wits University, is that “we are blind in the one eye as we look at the epidemic”.
The reason is that no one knows if the virus has unknowingly taken hold in communities that have not been tested.
“It is quite a complex picture,” explains Van den Heever. “One of the issues is that the testing regime has been incredibly narrow. And it was effectively only designed to detect people who were tied to the imported infection.
“So the numbers that we’re seeing at the moment are essentially still tied to the old testing regime. We have been testing the affluent population, and we might have an outbreak that we don’t know about.”
The government is trying to ramp up and expand its testing regime. But the extension to the lockdown is clearly an indication that they are not ready for an expanded testing and contact tracing programme, Van der Heever adds. “Yet that leaves us exposed to the risk of the areas that are not socially distancing under the lockdown.”
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has previously warned that the storm is not over yet as there might be another increase especially if South Africans are not co-operating with the lockdown conditions.
A spike in infections might also occur in the winter season.
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** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za