A health worker checks a mans temperature during door to door screening in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg
A health worker checks a mans temperature during door to door screening in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg

SA’s Covid-19 death toll jumps to 48, confimed cases now at 2 605

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Apr 16, 2020

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s confirmed Covid-19 cases have increased to 2605 with 14 new deaths, taking the death tally to 48, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday afternoon.  

This means that there are 99 new cases from Wednesday's 2 506 confirmed coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, the cases had jumped by 91 new cases.

South Africa is currently on Day 21 of its lockdown after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two week extension last week. Initially, today would have been the last day of the lockdown, but the president announced that they had taken a decision to extend the lockdown as the coronavirus cases continued to increase during the lockdown. 

Ramaphosa also told the nation last week that the countries average daily infection rate had dropped to around 4% during the lockdown, while before the lockdown was instituted, the average daily infection rate was around 42%.

The Gauteng province continues to have the most cases, at over 900, with the Western Cape closing in on 700 cases, KwaZulu-Natal with over 500 cases and the Eastern Cape now in excess of 200 confirmed cases.

BREAKDOWN

Gauteng - 969 cases - 6 deaths 

Western Cape - 675 cases - 13 deaths

KZN - 534 cases - 20 deaths 

Eastern Cape 220 cases - 4 deaths 

Free State - 98 cases - 4 deaths

Limpopo - 26 cases - 1 death

North West - 24 cases 

Mpumalanga - 22 cases

Northern Cape - 16 cases

** 16 cases were yet to be allocated, the Department of Health said.

As the number of confirmed infections rise, businesses providing essential services across South Africa have also been affected by the spread of the vir with a number of premises being shut down due to contact with people carrying the virus.

Earlier on Thursday, The Star reported that Coca-Cola had been forced to shut its Gauteng plant after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. 

According to an internal memo sent to employees at the Coca-Cola’s Devland manufacturing plant on Monday, a worker with the respiratory disease was on the site on Sunday.

“We have already initiated a tracing process to identify all employees who may have been in contact with the positive colleague, these employees will undergo testing,” said managing director Velaphi Ratshefola.

“We have increased rigid health and safety protocols as well as awareness to ensure the well-being of all within our operations. Upon entering our sites, all employees and visitors have their temperature taken and undergo a short questionnaire. Individuals displaying flu-like symptoms or with a temperature over 37.5C are not allowed entry to our sites,” Ratshefola added.

The plant has 222 employees. Coca Cola currently has 14 plants operating nationally.

Two Netcare hospitals, one in Joburg and another in KZN, are aso temporarily shutting their doors to new patients.

City Power was forced to shut its doors on Wednesday after an employee at the entity’s main warehouse in Reuven, Booysens, tested positive for Covid-19. The person is in self-isolation at home.

The entity is now tracing all employees who might have been in contact with the sick person, while co-workers who have been in direct contact with this employee have been asked to self-quarantine by staying at home for the next 14 days.

A Durban bakery was also shut down on Wednesday after a staffer tested positive for the virus. 

IOL

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