SA Covid-19 cases grow to 1749, death toll rises to 13

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 7, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize says the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has increased to 1749 from 1686 on Monday night. 

Mkhize said the number of deaths due to the virus now stands at 13. 

The latest death was that of a 60-year-old man in KwaZulu Natal who had prostate cancer. He died from complications related to the coronavirus. The increase in confirmed cases is up by 63 from the numbers announced on Monday night. 

Mkhize said his department was worried about St Augustine's Hospital in KwaZulu Natal. 66 people who had been linked to the hospital have tested positive for the virus. Of the total infected, 48 were staff members. 

The minister said the provincial and national health department were in talks with the hospital management to close down certain parts of the hospital. 

He said screening and the fumigation of the hospital would get underway. Specialists were also being sent to the hospital to assist. 

Mkhzie said the good news was that some of the patients who have been treated for the coronavirus were recovering. He also said mass testing has also begun in all nine provinces to curb the spread of the virus and also trace and possible contacts. 

The minister was speaking at the Mostepe Foundation in Joburg where the foundation, headed by the billionaire Patrice Motsepe, handed over a consignment of Personal Protective Equipmentment (PPE). This included over 200 000 surgical masks which were expected to assist the country's efforts for at least the next six to eight weeks. 

The equipment will be distributed to all provinces to help health workers fight the spread and treat patients infected by the virus. 

Health officials and unions had raised concerns about the shortage of protective equipment for health officials as they were on the frontline of fighting the coronavirus. 

Mkhize said no health official would be forced to work in an environment that they felt unsafe.  He thanked the Motsepe Foundation for the donations of protective equipment. 

Political Bureau

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