Covid-19 in SA: Death toll crosses 20 000 mark, Newsline

Cape Town – The death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 20 011, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday night.

Cumulatively, the country has recorded 742 394 coronavirus cases, with 92% of these having recovered.

South Africans breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday night when Ramaphosa announced that the country was not returning to a hard lockdown.

Instead, he emphasised that while the spread of the coronavirus was mostly under control, the public needs to continue following the government prescribed precautions – especially with the festve season approaching.

“As South Africa, we have endured what we hope is the worst of the storm. At the height of the pandemic, in July, we were recording around 12 000 new infections a day,” Ramaphosa said.

“For more than two months now, the number of new infections has remained relatively stable at below 2 000 a day. The number of deaths has been declining steadily, as has the number of people requiring hospitalisation.

“The total number of new hospital admissions has declined for the 14th consecutive week.”

The president pointed out that most of Europe was experiencing a second wave which was even more devastating than the first round of infections at the start of the pandemic. He urged South Africans to heed the lessons learnt from these countries.

“We are seeing how quickly and how dramatically infections can rise in a number of countries. We are also seeing how health systems can become overwhelmed in the face of rising infections. The rise in infections in some of these countries has led to the reimposition of tough restrictions,” Ramaphosa said.

“We have also seen in other countries how a resurgence can dash hopes for a swift economic recovery. We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening in our country.”

Ramaphosa said government was concerned about the rise in Covis-19 cases in the Eastern Cape where the number of new cases reported in the past week was 50 percent higher than the previous week.

“The evidence suggests that the increases in the Eastern Cape could have been triggered by outbreaks in institutions of higher learning such as universities, schools and attendance by people at large gatherings. When this is combined with poor adherence to social distancing, mask wearing and other poor hygiene measures, the environment for rising infections is set.” he said.

“With many people moving between the Eastern Cape and other provinces – particularly the Western Cape – it is a matter of time before this surge spreads to other parts of the country.”

To counter the rise in infections, Ramaphosa said government was implementing its resurgence plan.

“Interventions include primary health care outreach teams to intensify contact tracing, daily community mobilisation, ensuring the readiness of health facilities, and being ready to respond to possible clusters outbreaks.”

The cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases in SA is 742 394 with 2140 new cases identified since the last report.

According to the Ministry, 60 new deaths have been reported, which brings the total to 20 011 deaths:

Eastern Cape 24

Free State 19

Gauteng 2

Kwa-Zulu Natal 1

Mpumalanga 2

North West 2

Northern Cape 6

Western Cape 4

“Our recoveries now stand at 686 458 which translates to a recovery rate of 92%,” the Ministry said.