Western Cape records 2 349 new Covid-19 infections, 54 deaths

Pushing SA’s tally past the 40 000-mark and deaths to almost 850.
The Western Cape remains the country's coronavirus hotspot. Image: Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images via Getty Images

It was another day of mostly unwelcome Covid-19 records on Thursday, as South Africa reported its biggest daily jump (yet) in new virus-related cases and deaths.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that the cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 40 792, up by 3 267 compared to the previous day. This is the first time that the daily rate of new infections reported is beyond both the 2 000 and 3 000 mark.

Mkhize also reported 56 new fatalities, 54 of these occurring in the hard-hit virus hotspot of the Western Cape. The province also accounted for the large majority (2 349) of new Covid-19 infections, taking the country’s overall tally beyond the 40 000-mark.

South Africa’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 848, with 651 of these having occurred in the Western Cape.

The Eastern Cape has the second highest number of confirmed cases (4 936) as well as deaths (95). KwaZulu-Natal has the third highest number of virus-linked fatalities (55), followed by Gauteng (33). However, KwaZulu-Natal has fewer confirmed cases (2 869), compared to Gauteng (4 845).

Read: Eastern Cape overtakes Gauteng in confirmed Covid-19 cases

On a positive note, Mkhize said that of the 40 792 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country, the number of recoveries to date stands at 21 311. This translates to a recovery rate of 52.24%.

Despite the shortage of testing kits countrywide and a growing logjam in the return of results, another highlight to come out of the health minister’s latest Covid-19 update is that a record 34 696 tests have been carried out since the last report.

Mkhize said this has taken the overall number of tests undertaken in South Africa to 820 675, as of Thursday. Of this number, almost 418 487 have been done by public sector laboratories.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, said on Thursday that the provincial government is currently negotiating to contract 300 private ICU or high care beds as part of its Covid-19 response. This comes after a tariff agreement was reached between the private healthcare sector and the Health Department.

Read:
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“Critical care beds will however remain under pressure in the Western Cape which is why the province is taking steps to protect the most high-risk groups. It is vitally important that everyone play their part in slowing the spread of this virus, especially to protect those most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with co-morbidities,” he said.

Winde also appealed to citizens to drink alcohol responsibly. He noted that with government lifting the ban on alcohol in Level 3, the Western Cape’s emergency and trauma units have already seen an increase in the number of alcohol-related injuries and incidents.

“With our hospital system experiencing added volumes as a result of Covid-19, alcohol-related injuries – whether they be as a result of violence or traffic accidents – compete for care in our hospitals,” he said.

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It’s really interesting to see the numbers here and I’m wondering if the difference in infection rates and deaths in SA is because there is less antiretroviral and TB meds used in the WC being predominantly colored with lower AIDS infection.? It would be helpful to have a more in depth report on the racial groups and how the infection and death rates are affecting each group.
This might help to reach a speedier solution for a vaccine or treatment in the future.
Going to be interesting to see if BCG vaccinations and ARV,s are what are keeping numbers down in countries like Portugal, Thailand, China, South Africa and others….
Just a thought.

Not surprising that Cape Town has the highest stats. Comments by the premier encouraged Capetonians not to take precautions. But as a politician he can get away with his reckless comments.

I don’t think Windy said that; what he wanted was the economy to get going. Even to experts don’t understand why WC’s figures are off the charts. You and I may speculate. Personally I think that the hospitals and prisons in WC and EC was too late to enforce policies. Lack of education of staff, policy, procedures and protection gear.

Yes we all may have an opinion. Thinking the WC was less prepared, true if WC is worst run province in SA.. yea sure!

No, the open economy lot probably got more to do with it.

Summer holiday makers flying in and out WC long after flights should have been stopped by Gov..

Yet business were hesitant early on, for the “cost”..

now the bill is significantly much higher

Maybe it has more to do with the cycle tour, and with foreign visitors who tend to do Cape Town?

End of comments.

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