Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says another death has been recorded from the COVID-19 disease, bringing the death toll to 25.
The latest death comes from the Western Cape – a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions – and brings the provincial death toll to 7.
Mkhize says the total number of confirmed cases has increased to 2028. The total number of tests conducted to date is 75 053.
Media release: Tests conducted to date is 75 053 pic.twitter.com/UaMOtaW89B
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 11, 2020
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is on the line for more on the figures, after spending the last few days in KwaZulu-Natal:
South Africa shows progress
Briefing the media in Pietermaritzburg on Friday on current measures to fight the pandemic, Mkhize said South Africa has shown some progress in slowing the rate of spread of the coronavirus, but the battle against the disease is far from over.
South Africa has shown flattening of the rate of infections since the imposition of the lockdown and Mkhize says the country could follow the trend of some Asian nations that have been able to bring the spread of COVID-19 under control.
South Africans encouraged to wear masks
Mkhize encouraged South Africans to wear masks as this has been scientifically proven, it’s one of the preventative measures. He says people can also make their own cloth masks. Speaking in Pietermaritzburg, Mkhize said people can use even a handkerchief, but they must ensure that the mask has three layers.
He emphasised that the issue of social distancing and regular hand washing should also go together with wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The next issue is the use of masks in addition to handwashing, sanitation. This issue of wearing masks is important. It is not one versus the other, it is everything together. And in this case, we are recommending that people can use cloth masks. Cloth masks, we need to just try and make sure there is a three-layer kind of thing you can even use handkerchief which means all you do you fold this one way, and fold this other way those three together that gives you already three layers and then it can be turned into a mask you can use handkerchief but people can actually make their own masks just make sure that you try and keep those layers,” said Mkhize.
The coronavirus lockdown will continue until the end of April. This follows the 14-day extension announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. He also announced additional measures to further slow down the infection rate.
Below is the President address on lockdown: