Giving an update in Bloemfontein on the latest situation regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize put the latest Covid-19 infection number at 1,462, an increase of 82 from the day before’s 1,380.
He said they had received reports of another two deaths but were not yet ready to add them to the current tally of five regarding fatalities.
Mkhize added that about 45 people had already recovered. He said he was speaking under correction but he believed seven patients were now in ICU.
Though the jump was larger than it has been in recent days, Mkhize said it was still a “restrained increase” due to the lockdown, but the true numbers were no doubt much higher, which would be shown once sustained mass testing was rolled out.
“I’ve been pleased to see the number of patients have been reduced in the hospitals. So we are calling on all hospitals to do the same,” he said regarding his call for hospitals to treat as many patients as possible on an outpatient basis.
He announced the provincial breakdown as follows, with the Western Cape home to the biggest rise:
Eastern Cape: 2
Western Cape: 27
The rest, 4, were unallocated.
He was at Universitas Hospital meeting the Covid-19 task team on the state of readiness of the Free State province. The hospital’s Dr Samantha Potgieter gave an update on the readiness of the hospital, saying they were prepared and waiting for patients.
We are at Universitas Hospital in the Free State with the COVID19 Task team along with the Premier,Ms Ntombela and MEC Ms Tsiu pic.twitter.com/79MPsHMp7V
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 2, 2020
Ward capacity had been increased at the hospital, but the head of the hospital’s task team advised that the best way to fight the epidemic was not to get sick in the first place – so people should observe the lockdown and stay home.
Watch the briefing as it happened below, courtesy of the SABC: