‘SA over Covid-19 surge, but don’t neglect precautionary measures’, Mkhize warns

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize outside the entrance to The Ranch Resort where the repatriated South Africans from Wuhan have been quarantined, 13 March 2020, Polokwane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The minister warned everyone to take personal responsibility to avoid a resurgence.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa is “over the surge” of Covid-19 infections, but warns that a resurgence might be on the cards if people neglect precautionary measures.

Mkhize released the latest coronavirus statistics and numbers late on Sunday.

A cumulative total of 609,773 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa.

A further 72 Covid-19-related fatalities have been recorded: 11 in the Eastern Cape, 41 in Gauteng, 12 in KwaZulu-Natal, and eight in the Western Cape. This brings the total Covid-19-related deaths to 13,059.

The recoveries now stand at 506,470, which translates to a recovery rate of 83%. This is well above the global average of 64.5%.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 3,553,425, with 18,358 new tests conducted since the last report.

Mkhize said: “We can say we are over the surge. The plateau has started. [In the] Western Cape it’s been over two months. KwaZulu-Natal is also now decreasing. That’s indicative of a promising time.”

Don’t neglect precautionary measures

But, the minister warned everyone to take personal responsibility to avoid a resurgence.

“The real risk we are worried about is resurgence if people neglect precautionary measures,” Mkhize said.

“Different countries have had to reimpose restrictions. We will have to do the same if people start behaving complacently.

“We hope we don’t have to go in that direction. It is a decision that is not taken lightly. We do think it’s possible for people to exercise social behavioural changes.

“Let’s focus on the containment measures: Use of masks, washing hands regularly and sanitising.”

He added that, at this point, there was no shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). “We have a challenge in administration of PPE. We are addressing that.”

He added: “The reports of corruption are devastating. People are taking advantage of their authority over resources. We condemn corruption and want to work together with law enforcement to root out corruption.”

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