The total number of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases in South Africa is now 603,338, announced Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
A further 225 Covid-19 deaths have been reported – 57 from Eastern Cape, 46 from Gauteng, 81 from KwaZulu-Natal, 6 from Northern Cape, 10 from North West and 25 from Western Cape. This brings the total Covid-19 related deaths to 12,843.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the department and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased.”
Recoveries now stand at 500,102.
In Gauteng, the ‘worst is over’, says provincial health department
Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions in Gauteng have continued to decline, while the province’s testing for the virus has remained consistent.
This is according to the Gauteng Provincial Command Council, which gave its weekly Covid-19 update on Friday.
As of Thursday, the province had recorded a total of 202 955 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which 30 512 are still active.
There have been 3 144 Covid-19 related deaths in the province.
Gauteng Department of Health COO (chief operating officer) Lesiba Malotana said he was of the view that the peak had now passed and the “worst is over”.
According to the data, the highest number of hospital admissions was recorded in the middle of July. On 22 July, a total of 7 193 patients were hospitalised for the virus, of which 1 863 patients were on oxygen.
As of 19 August, there were 3 311 Covid-19 patients admitted to public and private hospitals across the province, of which 922 were on oxygen.
In both private and public hospitals, 320 patients were ventilated.
Daily Covid-19 infections have consistently dropped since the middle of July. On 9 July, the province recorded its highest daily increase of 6 531 new Covid-19 cases – and, by 19 August, 944 cases were recorded.
Malotana said, while the daily infections and hospitalisations have been declining, there has not been a decline in the number of Covid-19 tests performed in the province.
By mid-July, when infections started increasing sharply, the province had conducted 817 655 tests. By 6 August, 1 069 171 tests were done in Gauteng and, by 20 August, a total of 1 161 954 tests had been conducted.
The number of active cases in the province has also been on the decline.
There were 39 863 actives cases on 12 August; a week later, on 19 August, a total of 30 512 actives cases were registered.
While Covid-19 cases are waning in Gauteng, Professor Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, a member of the province’s advisory committee, has urged residents to remain vigilant, and to wear a face mask, sanitise and keep a physical distance.
It is especially important now that the country has entered Level 2 of the lockdown, where regulations have been relaxed, and most sectors of society have reopened.
The City of Johannesburg remains the worst-hit metro, with a total of 81 590 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of 20 August, with 7 653 active cases.
Tshwane has a total of 43 368 cases, of which 8 385 are still active.
Ekurhuleni recorded 45 578 confirmed cases of the virus, of which 2 225 are still active.
A total of 5 732 active cases have not yet been allocated.
Smaller metros, such as Sedibeng, have recorded a total of 13 686 cases, of which 4 283 are still active, while the West Rand has 13 001 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 2 234 are still active.
The council also provided data on subdistrict hotspots, looking at a seven-day increase in cases between 13 and 20 August.
Tshwane regions appear to be the worst-affected in this increase, with Region 3, which includes the CBD, Atteridgeville, Laudium and Pretoria West, recording 711 new cases in the past week.
Soweto, Dobsonville, Protea Glen and Doornkop in Johannesburg registered 584 new cases, while Emfuleni recorded 532 new cases of the virus.
Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Winterveld, Soshanguve and others in Region 1, in Tshwane, recorded 489 new cases between 13 and 20 August.