87 Covid-19 related deaths reported in SA, cases rise by over 6 000
Johannesburg – After two consecutive days of recording more than 100 deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported only 87 additional Covid-19-related deaths on Thursday.
The total death toll rose to 2 292 after two fatalities in Gauteng, 15 in KwaZulu Natal, 17 in the Eastern Cape and 53 in the Western Cape.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases in South Africa is 118 375, which is an increase of 6 579 from yesterday – the biggest daily spike yet. With the number of cases increasing especially in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape's percentage has dipped to 48% of the total number of infected people.
Mkhize said a total of 1 460 012 tests have been completed, of which 43 118 were new tests. The mortality rate is 1.9% and the number of recoveries 59 974, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.7%.
According to Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at Wits University and the director of the Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, the country is only experiencing its first Covid-19 spike and will most likely endure three to four more waves of the pandemic into 2022.
"South Africa is not in a second spike, we are still in the first wave of the pandemic. We are probably going to experience three to four waves, probably right into 2022 at this rate," Madhi said.
"We are not in a second spike, we are still pretty much sort of in an upward trajectory of the first wave. We have not even peaked, not even the Western Cape has peaked as yet in terms of this current outbreak."
Meanwhile, Cape Town will soon have a temporary mass fatality facility to refrigerate and store hundreds of patients who die due to Covid-19. This was announced on Thursday by the Western Cape government, which is building the site in partnership with the City of Cape Town.
The makeshift morgue will be able to hold up to 770 dead bodies and will be located at the Tygerberg Hospital.
However, while Cape Town has 2 276 quarantine and isolation beds, it has an occupancy rate of only 29% and only 169 of the Cape Winelands' beds are occupied.
Shane Hindley, senior manager at the provincial transport and public works department, who spoke at Winde's weekly Covid-19 media conference on Thursday, said having activated 4 700 quarantine and isolation beds, the Western Cape government was “experiencing very high rejection rates” as people fear being stigmatised.
She believes access to alcohol and abstinence from sex are among the reasons Covid-19 patients and their contacts in the Western Cape are not willing to quarantine or isolate away from home.IOL