Covid-19 update: SA records 1,990 new cases and 82 deaths

MEC Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkhize visited Nasrec as part of monitoring state of readiness as COVID-19 cases increase in Gauteng and to support staff working during pandemic, 20 July 2020. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

The total number of Covid-19 related deaths is 15,168.

As on Wednesday, South Africa has recorded a total of 642,431 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 1,990 new cases identified.

The country has also recorded 82 more Covid-19 related deaths:10 from KwaZulu-Natal, 27 from Gauteng, 5 from Eastern Cape, 8 from Free State, 10 from North West, 22 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 15,168.

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers that treated the deceased patients. Our recoveries now stand at 569,935 which translates to a recovery rate of 88,7%,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize has said South Africa is over the Covid-19 surge, however, he cautioned that the country was “not out of the woods” yet.

During an interview on Wednesday on Radio Islam, Mkhize said since the first recorded case of Covid-19 in South Africa, the country has done its best, with the number of positive cases now over 640,000, which he said was “an indication of how much people in the country have been” infected and just over 15,000 deaths reported related to Covid-19.

“But we can safely say that we are over the surge,” Mkhize said, adding that the months of June, July and August had been the worst, just as models had predicted.

“However, we have found that it was not as many people as the model had suggested,”  Mkhize said, thanking all South Africans “for taking heed of our precautionary measures” which positively contributed to “containing the infection”.

Moving from Level 5 to Level 4 and to Level 3 of the lockdowns saw an increase in the number of infections, Mkhize said.

He said a number of factors were behind the current decrease in the number of infections and that these include “one of the major factors” which is “the containment measures” the government has embarked on.

“And there will be other factors in the environment,” he said.

In the past week, South Africa has dropped from number five globally in terms of the number of infections to number eight, Mkhize said, adding that it appears it would drop further.

“But we are not out of the woods, we must always be careful because it may still rise again like it’s happening in Spain, it’s happening in America, it’s happening in Iran, Korea, and so on,” Mkhize said.

(Additional reporting, Makhosandile Zulu)

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