South Africa has surpassed the 1 000 mark in the number of new COVID-19 cases, recording 1 160 new cases in the last 24 hours, which brings the total confirmed cases to 15 515.
Three new coronavirus-related deaths have also been recorded. The death toll in the country now stands at 264, as at 17 May.
The Western Cape continues to be the epicentre of the virus in the country accounting for 890 of the 1 160 new cases.
In a statement, the Health Department raises an issue of concern over the Western Cape confirmed cases.
“We remain concerned about the developments in the Western Cape, with the total cumulative cases now comprising almost 60% of the national cumulative cases and the new cases from Western Cape comprising 76% of the new cases from the past 24-hour cycle,” the statement reads.
In this video, below SA COVID-19 cases rise by 1 160:
The Western Cape records a staggering 9 294 confirmed cases with the second-highest province being Gauteng with 2 329.
The department has conducted 460 873 test with 21 314 done in the last 24 hours.
According to the department, 56% of the deaths are males, while the majority of the deaths – 20.8% – are apportioned to those between the ages of 50 to 59.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 17, 2020
Western Cape strategy
Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has presented the province’s strategy to a virtual meeting of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Co-ordinating Council.
The strategy focuses on areas in each of the City of Cape Town’s eight sub-districts, and in Witzenberg which account for a large proportion of the infections in the Western Cape, which is the highest in the country.
ℹ️ 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗗𝗔𝗜𝗟𝗬 𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘 for the WESTERN CAPE ➡️ As at 1pm on 17 May 2020, the Western Cape had recorded 9 246 confirmed cases (5 569 ACTIVE CASES). Details: https://t.co/wQpxk7Ygtr.
— Western Cape Gov (@WesternCapeGov) May 17, 2020
Ministers, premiers of all the nine provinces, as well as representatives of the South African Local Government Association attended the meeting. The focus of discussions was the response to COVID-19 across the provinces, and the move towards Level 3 of the lockdown.
The National Command Council will now discuss the various submissions at their meeting.
Correctional Services appoints health panel
The Correctional Services Department says it has appointed a panel of health experts to assist in curbing the spread of the coronavirus in prisons across the country.
The department has announced on Sunday that 571 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus at their correctional centres countrywide. 393 of those who have tested positive are inmates while 178 are officials.
The Eastern Cape Correctional Centre has the bulk of the positive cases, accounting for 414 confirmed cases. 359 inmates have tested positive in the province while 55 officials have also tested positive.
The South African Sentenced and Awaiting Trial Prisoners Organisation says the spread of the coronavirus in prisons across the country is getting out of control.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that 19 000 inmates will be released to deal with overcrowding in prisons and to give authorities a chance to better control the spread of the virus.