SA’s Covid-19 death toll rises by 414
Cape Town – After recording 345 Covid-19-related deaths yesterday, the number of fatalities in the country rose by 414 on Wednesday.
A total of 135 deaths were from the Eastern Cape, 122 from the Free State, 62 from KwaZulu-Natal, 45 from Gauteng, 34 from the Western Cape and 16 from Mpumalanga, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 9 298.
The number of recoveries currently stands at 377 266, which translates to a recovery rate of 71%.
Mkhize said the total number of confirmed cases stands at 529 877, up from 521 318 yesterday.
The total number of tests conducted to date is 3 113 191, with 34 989 being new tests.
The real risk of experiencing a "second wave" of coronavirus cases remains, so containment measures must not be abandoned, Mkhize said on Wednesday.
"We are not out of the woods yet. Until we are completely safe, we will keep reviewing restrictions and, if necessary, certain restrictions will still remain in place," Mkhize said.
World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson Margaret Harris, who expects the pandemic is probably "going to be one big wave", said: "Even though it's a respiratory virus, and even though respiratory viruses in the past did tend to do this, you know, different seasonal waves, this one is behaving differently."
WHO bosses first claimed the infection fatality rate was 3.4%, but this week changed their estimate to 0.6%.
Mkhize has appointed a team led by Professor Taole Mokoena to conduct an urgent investigation into allegations of healthcare workers contracting Covid-19 in the line of duty due to the poor quality of personal protective equipment.
The minister’s appointment of a team follows reports that a doctor died at George Mukhari Academic Hospital due to a Covid-19-related illness.
Meanwhile, after almost two months of providing much-needed Covid-19 medical assistance to the Khayelitsha community in Cape Town, Doctors Without Borders is closing the field hospital.
It opened on June 1 and at its fullest the facility cared for 52 patients, with bed occupancy above 40 percent until the recent decline in number of people suffering from Covid-19.
As of August 5, a total of 241 people were admitted, 194 were discharged, eight were transferred to other facilities and five patients remain in care, while 34 people died.