A nurse from Lancet Nectare hospital waits for the next patient to perform a Covid-19 coronavirus test. Picture: Luca Sola/AFP
A nurse from Lancet Nectare hospital waits for the next patient to perform a Covid-19 coronavirus test. Picture: Luca Sola/AFP

Covid-19 in SA: 14 046 new cases, 411 deaths

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Dec 23, 2020

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Cape Town - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday reported that 411 Covid-19 related deaths and 14 046 Covid-19 cases have been identified since the last report.

"Today we report, with concern, that 14 046 Covid-19 cases have been identified since the last report at a positivity rate of 26%. Therefore, the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases today is 954 258. This indicates that the virus continues to spread exponentially- indeed the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave and we will surpass the peak of the first wave in the coming days,” Mkhize said.

“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread.”

He said that all provinces, with the exception of the Eastern Cape, continue to report increases in their cases with KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng registering the largest increases and comprising 81% of the new cases today (30%, 28% and 23% respectively).

“Therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate the situation in these provinces, identify hotspots in these areas (and in other provinces where they may be identified) and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far.”

Mkhize confirmed an additional 411 Covid-19 related deaths: 101 in the Eastern Cape, Free State 3, Gauteng 34, Kwa-Zulu Natal 90, Mpumalanga 6, North West 6 and Western Cape 171. This brings the total to 25 657 deaths.

A cumulative total of 6 269 776 tests have been conducted with 54 048 tests conducted since the last report, the Health Minister said.

Recoveries now stand at 811 372. Active cases now stand at 117 229.

“We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage.

“We urge all South Africans to adhere to the regulations and recommendations pertaining to the National State of Disaster, avoid large gatherings and congested environments, ensure adequate ventilation in venues where they gather and vigilantly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions: that is wearing of masks, social distancing and sanitization of hands and shared surfaces...

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients.“

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