A man wearing a face mask feeds pigeons. Picture: EPA-EFE/FEHIM DEMIR
A man wearing a face mask feeds pigeons. Picture: EPA-EFE/FEHIM DEMIR

1 year after SA went into a hard Covid-19 lockdown 52 602 people have succumbed to virus

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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Durban - On the day South Africa observed the one year anniversary of the hard lockdown that was put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the death toll from the virus reached 52 602.

According to the Department of Health’s daily Covid-19 statistics update, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases for South Africa also reached 1 543 079 on the one year anniversary of the hard lockdown.

The cumulative total of tests conducted is 9 752 061 with 29 240 tests completed in the past 24 hours.

On Friday, 67 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported with the Eastern Cape recording 3, the Free State 6, Gauteng 23, KwaZulu-Natal 9, Limpopo 17, North West 5, the Northern Cape 1 and the Western Cape 3. Mpumalanga recorded 0 deaths.

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Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize said the number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol as of 6.30pm on Friday was 231 002.

The one year anniversary and the new health department data come amid a growing chorus of voices that want the government to impose a stricter lockdown ahead of the Easter holidays to mitigate a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

Commenting on the coming Easter weekend and the possibility of large gatherings, Mkhize said churches and other religious bodies have asked government to lift restrictions, however the Ministerial Advisory Committee has recommended an increase in restrictions to prevent super-spreader events.

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He said government is still in talks with various stakeholders to find a way of curbing the spread of the coronavirus without infringing on the rights of communities.

He added that government was relying on South Africans to safeguard themselves.

"We need to show that we have learnt from the hard lockdown. We have to rely on South Africans through their own conduct to limit the numbers. When we place limitations, it’s because we don't want to go back to level 5 due to the impact that it had on the economy. We cannot go to back to level 5. The restrictions have to be balanced," Mkhize said.


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