SA records over 2 000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hrs

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JUST hours after South Africa health minister Zweli Mkhize warned of a possible “resurgence” in Covid-19 cases, his ministry said on Wednesday night that 2 055 cases of the respiratory illness had been recorded in 24 hours.
This is only the third time that South Africa breached 2 000 cases in a 24-hour period since October 1. The country has now recorded 708 359 total infections.

The ministry added that there were 85 more Covid-19-related deaths recorded in the same period.

This means there are now 18 741 confirmed fatalities across South Africa. The figures are based on 4 607 883 tests to date, of which 26 537 were done in the 24-hour cycle.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mkhize warned of a possible “resurgence” in cases, and encouraged South Africans to continue to take necessary health and safety protocols.

In a statement shared on his official Twitter account, Mkhize — who is in isolation after he and his wife, May Mkhize, tested positive for Covid-19 at the weekend — said his fears come after reading and analysing epidemiological reports.

He said the rate of infections and deaths would “inform the recommendations” that his department took to the National Coronavirus Council.

“As the minister of Health, I cannot help but be concerned,” he said. “Fellow South Africans, when we
emphasise that the risk of resurgence remains high, we do not do so to instil fear in you. As government, we have a responsibility to alert you when we see concerning trends.

It would be irresponsible of us to ignore ‘small flames’ that we see redeveloping in some parts of the
country.”

Mkhize said the reports showed that, over the past week, there was an increase of 9,1 percent in cases across SA. Over the past 14 days, this increase was at 10,7 percent.

“We are also seeing concerning increases in some of the provinces. To illustrate this, in the last seven
days, there was a marked increase in the number of new cases in the Western Cape. The province recorded a 42
percent increase in new infections.

“According to our resurgence plan, we define this significant spike in new cases in the Western Cape as a resurgence,” he said.

He added the provincial health department had identified “specific clusters” that were responsible for
this. “We have noted that the single biggest cluster outbreak has been identified to be in the southern
subdistrict in the Cape Metro, and this has been associated with a superspreader event in a bar,” said Mkhize.

The minister said it was vital that citizens were not complacent and adhered to health protocols.

“All of us must take this responsibility and always encourage those around us. We must also take heed
of the major lessons from Covid-19, that is: despite the anxiety, the psychological trauma, the physical suffering and grief from lives we lost, Covid-19 has reawakened our deep values of ubuntu in us all.

“We have been reminded to care more, love more, empathise with our families, friends, colleagues and even
those we hear about in the media. “This is the same spirit that we must carry in fighting all other social and health ills facing our society, including gender-based violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mkhize also spoke of his own recovery from the respiratory illness.

“I want to assure you that we are improving each day. I remain in quarantine at home, I am resting and recuperating with only a cough remaining from my previous symptoms. I’m also very pleased that my wife has been discharged from hospital today and will now be joining me for quarantine at home.
— TimesLIVE

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