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Coronavirus- South Africa: Concern about New COVID-19 Cases in KZN, W Cape

Coronavirus- South Africa: Concern about New COVID-19 Cases in KZN, W Cape

Although South Africa has reached and passed the peak of the third wave, there are provinces that are still on the upward trajectory particularly the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“In other provinces such as North West, Free State and Northern Cape the number of cases have been relatively low but containment measures in these provinces are still critical in managing the pandemic,” acting Minister of Health, Mammoloko Kubayi, said on Friday.

Addressing the media on government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and the national vaccination rollout programme, the Minister expressed concern at the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape.

“We are however, concerned about the rise of numbers in the Western Cape which have now surpassed Gauteng in the number of new cases in the last 24 hours.

“If you can recall, Gauteng has been the epicentre of third wave and now the majority of new cases in the last 24 hours are from Western Cape with 29% of the new cases, followed by Gauteng with 27% new cases.

“We will keenly watch this situation so that if the numbers continue to rise we can introduce the necessary interventions,” the Minister said.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Head, Dr Sandile Tshabalala, said with the increase in the new cases and active cases, the province has already prepared bed spaces in the event they would need to admit more people in hospital.

“We have more than 4 900 beds that are available for COVID-19 and 834 hospital beds in field hospitals. We are seeing that our occupation of these beds is low, with the private sector admitting most of the patients compared to the public sector. Only 24% of our isolation beds are occupied now and only 38% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied,” he said.

Tshabalala said the province is not seeing the admissions in hospitals increasing.

“We had expected that after all the unrest our numbers will increase a lot. We have passed the seven-day period but we still have not seen a big increase, which we were preparing ourselves for and we are still monitoring that. We are preparing in case the increase happens,” he said.

The province currently has 205 vaccination sites that are active and has vaccinated 1 282 417 people.

In the last 24 hours, South Africa recorded 13 751 new cases, which was a significant decrease from Wednesday, which had 17 351 new cases.

“Despite the spike that we saw on Wednesday, the number of new cases has been on a downward trend.

“On Monday, the COVID-19 death toll breached 70 000 and for as long as the number of infections continue to rise, the death toll will continue to increase.

“This requires all of us to do everything we can to ensure that we both bring the number of infections and the number of deaths down,” Kubayi said.

She encouraged South Africans to continue to practice the non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccinate.

“Getting vaccinated does not mean you cannot get infected, it lowers the risk of severe symptoms and death. Non-pharmaceutical interventions remain critical for bringing down the number of infections,” the Minister said. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.

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