Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa is facing a bigger COVID-19 outbreak challenge than when the country went into lockdown and had its first positive case in March.
Mkhize revealed that more than 950 people were currently in hospital and more than 120 remain in the Intensive Care Unit across the country.
He made these revelations during a briefing to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the impact of COVID-19 in South Africa.
Mkhize told the NCOP that the worst is still to come.
He says, “It should be made clear to our people that the COVID-19 still remains a danger, in reality which is worse now than it was when we first had our first case. It is important for us to say that whatever we are doing – we must be aware that we are facing a much bigger COVID-19 outbreak challenge…”
“We have seen our numbers increasing with the lockdown to 23 000 and above that, the risk from the health system. We now have 955 people in hospital and 126 in the ICU and therefore it is always important for us to remember that the problems of COVID-19 are actually increasing,” added Mkhize.
South Africa records 481 COVID-19 related deaths:
The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen to 481 people, 49 of the latest deaths were in the Western Cape which is the epicentre of the pandemic in South Africa.
Last week, Mkhize said the only way South Africans can overcome the spread of COVID-19 is if the country acts collectively as citizens.
He added that the Health Ministry has done its utmost to try to curb the spread of COVID-19. He also described the fight against COVID-19 as a people’s war against the virus.
“We will defeat the pandemic on the basis of collective social behavioural change, that creates a whole new culture of distancing, of use of masks, cough etiquette and ensuring that everybody is cautious of their individual roles, because unless our citizens themselves take responsibility of infection control, then off course we will not be able to win.