Durban – After recording 345 Covid-19-related deaths on Tuesday and 414 yesterday, the number of fatalities in the country dropped to 306 on Thursday. A total of 78 deaths were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, 75 in Gauteng, 66 in the Eastern Cape, 46 in the Western Cape, 23 in the Free State and 18 in the Northern Cape, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 9 604.
The number of recoveries currently stands at 387 316, which translates to a recovery rate of 72%. There are now 538 184 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa. The total number of tests conducted to date is 3 149 807, with 36 616 new tests conducted since the last report. On a two-day visit to KwaZulu-Natal, Mkhize said KZN has recorded the highest increase in positive cases in the country. There are now 90 115 cases of Covid-19 in KZN, the third highest, with the province edging closer to the Western Cape’s 98 599 cases. “The number of positive cases in KZN is increasing. However, the province’s surge is taking off a much slower rate compared to other provinces,” he said. Mkhize denied that he or his family were awarded Covid-19 related tenders.
Responding to a question regarding the Treasury investigating government officials for corruption around the emergency Covid-19 tenders, Mkhize said: “I am not aware of anyone or any family getting government tenders for PPEs. I am not aware, I have never heard of it.” In response to a question about why the ban on cigarette and alcohol sales was still in place, despite a promising recovery rate of over 70% and research showing that the ban had achieved its purpose, Mkhize said the threat to the nation’s health was not over.
Concern has been expressed that some Eastern Cape residents have had to wait more than a month for their coronavirus test results in July, posing a danger of infecting others when they are in the dark over their own status. But having reduced the number of daily tests, the general turnaround time to get results is now two to three days.