Increase in Coronavirus cases concerning: Mkhize

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says he is concerned about the drastic increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the country.

The minister announced earlier that the number of infections has increased to 709 overnight showing an increase of 155 cases in a day up from 554 from on Tuesday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the SABC, Mkhize says the most increases were in Gauteng where there are 64 new cases.

He says there is still going to be quite an increase in the number of cases.

“We expect that a lot of work will be done by South Africans to contain these infections. These are still very early days we have actually increased from Tuesday, we are now at 709 cases.”

“The largest increase is Gauteng at 64 overnight, then Western Cape 61 overnight, KwaZulu-Natal 11, Free State 15.”

Below is the full interview on Morning Live:

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown in an address to the nation on Monday, saying Africa’s most advanced economy needed to escalate its response to curb the spread of the outbreak.

South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa and public health experts are worried that the virus could overwhelm the health system if infection rates rise steeply.

Health officials are working to expand the country’s coronavirus testing capacity and develop a plan to ensure there are enough intensive care beds with respirators.

“The numbers, we mustn’t be shocked when we see them increase. But these measures if we all work together must turn the curve around,” says Mkhize saying South Africa could reach an inflection point in its infection curve two or three weeks after its lockdown restrictions enter into force.

Dr Mkhize briefing the media in Pretoria: