South Africa now has the highest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 52 from 150 to 202.
In the video below, Minister Zweli Mkhize announces that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa has risen almost 35% to 202.
The virus has multiplied in Africa, more slowly than in Asia or Europe. However, the number of cases has started to rise more rapidly in South Africa in recent days.
Mkhize, who was addressing the media in Bloemfontein says Gauteng has the highest number of people who tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have now moved to 202 people who have tested positive. The new cases is 52 of them. In Gauteng there are 33. In the Western Cape there are 11. In KZN, there is one, and in the Free State there are seven.”
Mkhize says five of the cases of the infections in the Free State are of people who came from overseas to attend a local church gathering.
“There are specific areas which we’ve had to take into account. In the case of Free State, of the first five people that were reported, two of them are people who came from Texas, USA another two came from Israel and one came from France and they came here around the 9th -11th of this month (March). They came to a church gathering.”
In the video below, Free States confirms its first cases of COVID-19 after seven people test positive:
More test kits needed:
On Thursday, Mkhize said more COVID-19 test kits are needed in the country as the Department of Health aims to conduct thousands of tests daily.
“We are looking at how to increase the testing capabilities so that we can test as many people as possible. We have been talking about it, that at this point we’ve just probably got about 1 200 tests and this 150 comes from that number. But we now need to start being ready to test a couple of thousands per day. Secondly, we need to also be able to increase capability to have what we call drive-by testing and mobile testing capacity as it were.”
Mkhize has also reiterated that there is no vaccine yet for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everybody is at risk
Mkhize says everybody is at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“In any community, 60 t0 70% of the community will be affected by the virus. We can’t hide that. So, I say to the religious leaders, most of us, we are going to have this virus. South Africa, most of us will have this virus. It doesn’t mean that then it’s going to be a severe disease to all of us. It will be severe to the 20%. Let’s make sure that at each and everytime the 20% is small so that we don’t have the strain of having to worry about opening new ventilators and all of those things.”
To mitigate the situation, the government has introduced a range of new measures to try and slow the spread of the virus. These include closing bars and restaurants that serve alcohol at 18:00.
Below is an infographic of regulations set out to stop spread of COVID-19: