Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says Gauteng is expected to be the new epicentre of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country when the Ministry announces the next statistics.

The Minister was briefing parliament on efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country on Wednesday.

South Africa has recorded more than 215 000 COVID-19 cases and 3 502 deaths related to COVID-19.

 

Mkhize says the testing capacity of laboratories will be strengthened and screening at key entry points will be improved. He also says prevention control measures will be scaled up at ports of entry.

“Scaling up infection prevention control measures and strengthening capacity at ports of entry by enhancing screening capacity at the key entry points. Expediting research and introduction of therapeutic diagnostics and vaccine by institutionalising for COVID-19 health-related products, regulation and research coordination and building mechanisms for ongoing learning from research and experience from other countries.”

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize briefs the media on the COVID-19 situation in South Africa.

Healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19

Mkhize says more than 4 800 health workers tested positive for COVID-19 by the end of June, with nurses being the most affected. He says other health care workers who were infected include community health workers and doctors.

“As on the 30th of June, 4 821 health workers were reported to have been infected with COVID-19 virus across the country. This data represent cases of health workers in both public and private sector, with the Western Cape continuing to account for the majority which is 68% of health care workers with 3 285 infections as of the 29th of June 2020. The leading number of infections are among the nurses with 2 474 infections followed by other healthcare professionals, including community health workers reporting 1 971 and doctors recording 377 infections.”

Head of Department Centre for HIV and STIs at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Professor Adrian Puren,  gives analysis on Minister’s COVID-19 parliament statement: