KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: Supplied
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: Supplied

KZN seeing increase in Covid-19 family clusters and home deaths, says Premier

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 3, 2021

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DURBAN - More than 8000 healthcare workers in the public sector have tested positive for Covid-19. In his weekly Covid-19 media briefing, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, said 8723 healthcare workers have tested positive.

"Of the infected, 98 have sadly succumbed to the disease. The majority of the infected healthcare workers are nurses," he said.

Zikalala expressed concern as the incline in new cases in KZN.

"We are extremely concerned that we have started the New Year on a bad note, having breached the 5000 mark for daily Covid-19 infections. Three days ago, when we were reporting the stats for 30 December 2020, our province had recorded 5 846 new infections and 116 deaths. It was the first time that we had gone beyond the 5000 mark – let alone approaching 6000," he said.

Zikalala said on New Year's Day, there were 5311 new infections however, 134 deaths were reported.

"On New Year’s Day, we again saw a slight improvement, recording 4 974 new infections, and 21 fatalities. As of yesterday, we recorded a total of 4 714 new infections, bringing the province’s total number of Covid-19 infections to 209 691. Sadly, 85 people lost their lives over the past 24 hour reporting period," the Premier said.

He said six districts that have been declared hotspots - eThekwini, UMgungundlovu, Ugu, Harry Gwala, King Cetshwayo and Illembe - are recording a high number of cases daily.

Family clusters have also increased, which clearly indicates that infected family members are not complying with self-quarantine and self- isolation rules.

There are also a number of home deaths, and people dying on arrival at health facilities, which is a clear indication that people are reporting late to health facilities.

"We have also noticed that there is an increase in the number of index cases who are refusing to give a list of their contacts. This is highly problematic, as it hampers contact tracing, which is the cornerstone of the public health response to Covid-19. We are also concerned that some contacts are refusing to be tested," he said.

Zikalala said in responding to the second wave, the province has prepared more beds in response to the demand.

"We will be re-purposing of 540 beds in Ethekwini, Ilembe and Harry Gwala, ommissioning of field hospitals which will give the province an additional 954 beds," he said.

Zikalala said they have engaged private facilities like hotels and lodges for extra beds and so far two facilities have been commissioned at Ugu and King Cetshwayo districts.


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