According to health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's confirmed Covid-19 cases now stand at  138 134, an increase of more than 6000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. 
Picture: Mark Schiefelbein/ AP Photo
According to health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's confirmed Covid-19 cases now stand at 138 134, an increase of more than 6000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Picture: Mark Schiefelbein/ AP Photo

Gauteng expected to overtake WC as country's Covid-19 epicentre as SA's numbers climb to 138 134

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jun 28, 2020

Share this article:

Durban - Gauteng is expected to emerge as the country's Covid-19 epicentre within the coming days.

According to Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's confirmed Covid-19 cases now stand at  138 134, an increase of more than 6000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. 

Gauteng currently has 36 895 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday. 

Mkhize said factors contributing to spike in Gauteng numbers are attributed to inward migration, especially in metros like Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane. 

He said it could also be from increased congregating, which spur cluster outbreaks as well as people adapting to wearing masks and practising social distancing. 

Mkhize said when the national lockdown was eased earlier this month, large numbers of people went back to work as economic activities resumed. 

"The surge that has been witnessed in the past two weeks has developed due to seeding of infections carried in by members of the community as they moved back into the workplace. It was therefore inevitable that there would be cluster outbreaks as infections spilled over from communities into places of congregation such as mines, factories, taxis and busses," he said. 

Talks have begun between the Gauteng MEC for Health and the Gauteng health department to speed up their capacity to handle the spike. 

Mkhize said in the next few days, the testing backlog will be cleared and numbers seen will be based on a shorter turnaround time. 

He said his department has identified the need to increase the number of Covid-19 hospital beds in Gauteng. 

"We will be supporting the province to ensure that they are capacitated to meet the rising demands. In addition to regular hand washing, social distancing and the correct wearing of masks at all times, early case detection, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are the key armaments we have in our toolbox to break the cycle of infection. The province is being engaged to strengthen their contact tracing and quarantine/isolation uptake," Mkhize said.

Commenting on an increase in infections in the rest of the country, Mkhize said the rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive cases is as expected, as the country approaches the cooler months of July and August. 

Oover the past 24 hours there have been 43 new Covid-19-related deaths, bringing the total to 2 456.

The number of recoveries nationally stands at 68 925.


* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** 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 

IOL


Share this article: