South Africa has recorded 60 more COVID-19 related deaths as the number of confirmed cases increased by 2 642, the Department of Health says on Friday. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 43 434.

The 60 new deaths also mean the country is nearing the 1000-death mark, currently at 908.

This comes a day after the country registered a record number of new cases at 3 267 since the beginning of the pandemic.

A total of 850 871 tests have been processed cumulatively of which 30 196 tests have been conducted since the last report.

The recoveries to date are 23 088 this translates to a recovery rate of 53,2%.

The Western Cape continues to be the epicentre of the virus in the country, accounting for 66.3% of the total number of cases. This is with a total of 28 807 confirmed cases. On a positive note, the province has also seen 16 433 recoveries.

But the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the province stands at 704.

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COVID-19 interventions in Western Cape

Assessing the progress in setting up COVID-19 interventions in the Western Cape, On Friday, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize outlined various strategies that have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in the province.

“There is a lot of integration of strategies and approaches into the issues that have been raised. We have focused on our hotspot strategy; the issue of sub-division of districts into sub-districts for more intensive interventions,” Mkhize said.

“We have already sent the team of Cuban specialists to come and assist in the Western Cape. We have about 28 of them in this province. There have been other additional reinforcements.”

Shortage of medical staff

President Cyril Ramaphosa says medical staff shortages amidst the war against the coronavirus are unacceptable, especially in the Western Cape, which is the epicentre of the outbreak in the country. Ramaphosa is in the province to assess its response in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

Ramaphosa says all skilled medical workers must immediately be sourced and employed to make up for staff shortages at medical facilities.

“Not having enough staff members is not going to be an excuse that I will accept. We’ve got to find them. Money is not going to be the issue we must pull out all stops to save lives. This is a war that we must win. We cannot sit back and be defeated by COVID-19 on the basis that we didn’t have enough staff members. ”

In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses lack of medical staff in Western Cape: