South Africa has recorded 1 218 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, bringing the country’s total cases to 21 343. Ten more people have died from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 407.

The Western Cape still has the most positive cases and deaths in the country. The province accounts for 65% of the country’s total COVID-19 cases.

The Western Cape is followed by Gauteng with 2 633 cases, accounting for 12% of the country’s total cases. The Eastern Cape, which has been marred by concerns over readiness to deal with the virus, also accounts for 12% of the country’s total cases with 2 569 people having tested positive for the virus in the province.

The Northern Cape still has the least cases of COVID-19, having recorded 40 cases and one death.

In the video below, Dr Zweli Mkhize visits the Eastern Cape as concerns mount on the province’s readiness to deal with COVID-19:

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A total of 564 370 tests have been conducted, with 21 338 done in the last 24 hour cycle. The public sector accounts for 51% of total tests with 287 833 tests, while the private sector accounts for 49% of tests. The sector has conducted 276 537 tests.

A total of 10 104 people have recovered from the virus.

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Acting collectively to beat COVID-19

The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said on Thursday that the only way South Africans can overcome the spread of COVID-19 is if they act collectively as citizens.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with experts and researchers in sharing information about COVID-19, Mkhize said the fight against COVID-19 is a people’s war.

“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,” the Minister said.

The Minister also said government appreciates the continued guidance by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the easing of the lockdown.

The WHO has released the following criteria for lifting a coronavirus lockdown:

  • Adequate control of the transmission of the virus
  • Tracing
  • Testing and treatment systems
  • Minimising the risk of resurgence
  • Preventative measures in public spaces.

Below is Minister Mkhize’s statement on the latest COVID-19 statistics: