People flocked to Muizenberg, Cape Town, this week after the ban on accessing beaches, among others, was lifted. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)
People flocked to Muizenberg, Cape Town, this week after the ban on accessing beaches, among others, was lifted. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)

New Covid-19 cases in SA remain below 4 000

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Feb 5, 2021

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Cape Town – The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa on Friday rose to 1 470 516, with 3 749 new cases since the last report, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

A total of 3 751 new cases were reported on Thursday and 4 058 on Wednesday.

The death toll remained below 300 for the second consecutive day at 297 (261 on Thursday), with Limpopo (68) recording the most fatalities. It was followed by Gauteng 52, Eastern Cape 49, Free State 40, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape 35 each, Mpumalanga 16 and the Northern Cape 2.

This brings the total number of deaths to 45 902 deaths, with the recoveries now standing at 1 335 618, representing a recovery rate of 90.8%.

The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 8 436 569, with 36 250 new tests recorded since the last report.

Data supplied by the Department of Health

“It is estimated that 20% of all infected patients will have moderate to severe disease requiring some medical support and a possible hospitalisation,” said Dr Neshaad Schrueder, head of specialist health services at Tygerberg hospital, TimesLive reported.

Schrueder said some patients may deteriorate within 14 days of testing positive, with a worsening pneumonia and require hospitalisation.

“There are many instances where this deterioration is so rapid that the hospitals have seen many patients die on arrival.

“In our experience at Tygerberg Hospital, more than half of the admissions to hospital respond to treatment and are discharged after an average of seven days.

“However, some patients develop a more protracted course called ‘long Covid’, with persistent lung injury poorly responsive to current therapies, and remain oxygen-dependent for a longer period. It is many of these patients that have ultimately poor outcomes with a high inpatient mortality as well as a high post-discharge mortality.’’

Weekly reports with excess mortality estimates published by the SA Medical Research Council's Burden of Disease Research Unit (BDRU) and UCT’s Centre for Actuarial Research (CARe) have revealed a huge discrepancy between the country's confirmed Covid-19 deaths and the number of excess natural deaths, which have continued through the second wave.

Of the 132 481 excess natural deaths reported on Wednesday by the BDRU and CARe, 43 951 were reported Covid-19 deaths. It’s believed health officials are reluctant to admit the official death toll.

Researchers have indicated that up to 80% of excess deaths could be linked to Covid-19, News24 reported. This would take South Africa's death toll from the coronavirus to between 92 000 and 105 000 people, among the highest in the world

KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have seen more than 30 000 excess natural deaths, followed by Gauteng at 21 000 and the Western Cape with 14 000.

By metro, the City of Cape Town has seen the highest number of excess natural deaths at just more than 10 000.

At least 200 healthcare workers who will be vaccinating residents in Limpopo will travel with security guards to protect the vaccines.

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said: “We are going to allocate 200 vaccinators who are professional nurses and will allocate an enrolled nurse and a security guard to protect the vaccines.

’’We already have 169 vaccinators in training. We might start vaccinating the first health workers on February 15.’’


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