Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against Covid-19 vaccine testing outside Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against Covid-19 vaccine testing outside Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa's Covid-19 cases increase by 13 285 to shoot past 350 000 mark

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 18, 2020

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Cape Town - South Africa currently has 350 879 confirmed Covid-19 cases, an increase of 13 285 cases since Friday. 

A total of 144 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, the national Department of Health confirmed on Saturday

Gauteng leads the count in the country's nine provinces with 128 604 confirmed Covid-19 cases, while the Western Cape has 85 411, and the Eastern Cape has recorded 60 976 cases to date.

KwaZulu-Natal's confirmed cases now stand at 40 086 and North West has 13 400.

Data supplied by National Department of Health.

Testing

"The total number of tests conducted to date is 2 422 741 with 49 688 tests conducted since the last report," the department said.

Data supplied by the National Department of Health.

Deaths and recoveries

Cumulatively, South Africa has recorded 4 948 Covid-19-related fatalities.

The Western Cape remains the pronce with the highest number of deaths (2 593) from the coronavirus, while the Northern Cape, which has had 15 fatalities, has the lowest death rate.

Data supplied by the National Department of Health.

The recovery rate has remained stable, with 182 230 people, or 52 percent of patients, having fully recovered.

On Saturday night Health Minister Zweli Mkhize issued a statement reiterating an appeal he made on June 28 for South Africans to take the pandemic seriously and to adhere to government's strategy and regulations to curb the spread of the virus. 

"We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging. We see poor or no social distancing in communities. Masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is laxity setting in around frequent hand-washing." Mkhize said.

"This will directly influence the rise in numbers in the next two weeks," he cautioned.

Covid-19 exposes inequality globally

While delivering the annual Nelson Mandela lecture on Saturday, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the fractures that exist in societies.

“Covid-19 has been likened to an X-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built,” Guterres said.

“It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: The lie that free markets can deliver health care for all, the fiction that unpaid care work is not work, the delusion that we live in a post-racist world, the myth that we are all in the same boat.”

Guterres said that wealthy countries had "failed to deliver the support needed to help the developing world" and that the pandemic has "brought home the tragic disconnect between self-interest and the common interest; and the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks."

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za 

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