With four new deaths since its last tally, South Africa’s death toll now sits at 58, and with an increase of 142 new infections the latest confirmed Covid-19 cases is 3 300, the health department has said in its publication of figures for the virus spread across the country
But with 165 new recoveries nationally, the number of those who have survived the virus has increased to 1055. Gauteng still has the highest number of infections at 1075, but coming in third with 639 infections, Kwazulu-Natal has at least three times more deaths, 23.
Western Cape has the second highest number of infections at 940 and the second highest number of deaths, at 17. It has also recorded 216 recoveries, with Gauteng registering the highest number of recoveries at 545.
The Eastern Cape has come in fourth with 310 confirmed Covid-19 cases with five deaths and 15 recoveries, and Free State has 105 infections with five deaths and 74 recoveries.
All other provinces have fewer than 30 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with one death recorded in Limpopo and none in any of the other provinces.
121,510 tests conducted
The health department said in the statement that tests have been conducted on 121,510 patients in both the public and private sectors. It says that the significant increase in testing is mainly because of the mass community screening and testing taking place in provinces.
In countries, such as South Korea, which has been lauded globally for its ability to effectively contain the spread of the virus, and Germany, which has some of the lowest number of Covid-19 deaths, testing has been one of its main methods in the fight against the coronavirus.
The health department said in a statement on Saturday that it had ramped up testing for Covid-19 significantly with more than 5,000 citizens being tested for the virus per day.
On Saturday evening, health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said 108,021 people had been tested for Covid-19, but that 123,000 tests had thus far been completed – the minister clarified that one person could be tested more than once.
“We have been increasing the number of people being tested. When we started, 98% of tests were being done in the private sector. About two weeks ago, in the public sector, we could have been testing up to 1,000 tests per day,” Mkhize said.
Other media reports indicate that the numbers could increase from 5,000 since South Africa’s National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is able to do 15,000 tests a day, and plans to increase that to about 36,000 by the end of April.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 20, 2020
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Author: ANA Newswire