Government must increase testing, tracking and tracing: Saftu

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The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) wants the government to increase testing, tracking and tracing those infected with COVID-19.

Saftu says the current data the government is supplying is not an accurate depiction of the number of infections.

The labour federation’s general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says, “At some point the government was testing 50 000 people in a single day and now the government turns around and says guys, we’re now testing only 12 000 people. The numbers of people discovering to be carrying the virus have now declined, but we look at it with caution because we know, if you test less people – obviously you’re going to get less numbers of people who are testing positive.”

“They are no longer contact tracing. At the beginning of the campaign, it was not just about contact tracing. It was also a massive campaign of healthcare workers walking door-to-door and screening everybody. A lot of people are dying without us knowing that these people are dying from the virus,” adds Vavi.

In a statement, Saftu says, “It is concerning that the massive decline in testing of citizens may give us the wrong picture and breed a false sense of security. The truth is that, unlike at the beginning of lockdown, government is no longer doing contact-tracing nor using Community Healthcare Workers to vigorously screen citizens. At the beginning of the campaign there was aggressive random testing. This is no longer happening.”

SA records 162 new deaths as COVID-19 cases climb to 587 345

South Africa has recorded 3 692 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total number of case to 587 345.

Gauteng still accounts for the most cases provincially. The province has recorded a total of 199 635, accounting for 34% of the country’s total cases.

KwaZulu-Natal, which is reported to be experiencing its peak in COVID-19 infections, has recorded the second-highest cases provincially with 105 383 cases, accounting for 17.9% of the country’s total cases.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize 162 new COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded, bringing the total number of deaths to 11 839.

“Regrettably we report a further 162 COVID-19 related deaths – 70 from Eastern Cape, 27 from Gauteng, 21 from KwaZulu-Natal, 6 from Free State, 18 from North West and 20 from Western Cape. This brings the total COVID-19 related cumulative deaths to 11 839,” the Minister said in a statement.

He has conveyed his gratitude to the health workers who treated the deceased.

Tests and recoveries

The total number of tests conducted to date is 3 400 638, with 22 609 new tests conducted in the last 24-hour cycle.

The private sector accounts for 56% of total tests with 1 919 689 tests conducted while the public sector accounts for 44% with 1 480 949 tests.

472 377 people have recovered from the virus, bringing the country’s recovery rate to 80%.

The latest COVID-19 stats in South Africa:



Statement by Dr Zweli Mkhize on the latest COVID-19 stats: