South Africa’s coronavirus (COVID-19) death toll has surpassed the 10 000. This as the Department of Health has recorded 301 new COVID-19 related deaths to 10 210 deaths since the last report.
More than half of the deaths are from KwaZulu Natal with 154 fatalities, followed by the Eastern Cape with 39; Limpopo at 37; Western Cape with 22; North West with 21; and Northern Cape with 5.
The country continues to see a drop in the number of new infections with 7 712 new cases confirmed bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 553 188.
The recovery rate is 73% with 404 568 recoveries.
Raids in and around Johannesburg
Meanwhile, the number of infections continues to increase around the country. Gauteng has recorded over 190 000 COVID-19 cases and over 2 500 people in the province have lost their lives to the virus.
The storm in Gauteng may be subsiding, but law enforcement is not taking a backseat. Several raids were conducted in and around Johannesburg to enforce lockdown compliance.
The CDB, Mayfair and Soweto have been identified as being among the new hotspots.
The province has been experiencing fewer active cases and more recoveries, but it remains the COVID-19 epicentre.
Law enforcement is still in full force. After pictures of Jeppestown eatery Mia Mia went viral, police pounced on the area and surrounding hostels. Among the illicit goods, police found firearms and alcohol.
However, as authorities increase their visibility, locals are divided on the continuation of the lockdown.
Police, SANDF enforce lockdown compliance in Johannesburg:
COVID-19 peak in KZN
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says KwaZulu-Natal is currently experiencing the COVID-19 peak. Dr Mkhize, who visited the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, says the peak is expected to last a bit longer in the province as it has a bigger population.
His visit to this hospital follows an incident where patients were being treated in a makeshift tent.
“If a patient can say to you ‘this is not suitable,’ certainly a professional should have found that out earlier. So, I don’t think there is much explanation that is needed here. What we needed are people to understand that this is not how you are going to be treating people, full stop,” says Mkhize.
His visit comes after a video showing a critically ill 67-year-old Sibusiso Khumalo being treated in a makeshift tent at the hospital. Many people on social media, including the Khumalo family, raised concerns over the poor conditions patients were subjected to.
Assessing the new screening centre at the hospital, Dr Mkhize says he is satisfied. He says all flu clinics in hospitals should be a dignified area where patients are assessed.
“All we have said is a principle of triangle tents or fever clinics. What it means is that there must be a place where patients will come in; where they will be able to observe social distances; where they will be able to ask them questions; check their temperatures and make sure that senior people, senior nurses, senior professionals can assess them and bring them in. Management has to take charge of how they change that. Where they were weak and there is a problem with the emergency team, they have to go there and do that. We then said they will find a place, something that can be used long after COVID-19 is gone – repurpose that, refurbish it. That is why yesterday we were seeing a number of buildings that were being refurbished to the point we don’t want to lose everything. We want to invest for the future.”
Dr Zweli Mkhize raises questions about inadequate health facilities in rural areas: