The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa rose by 2 642 to 43 434 in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Friday. The country has also recorded 60 more deaths related to the coronavirus.
"Regrettably, we report 60 more Covid-19-related deaths; 7 from Gauteng and 53 from Western Cape. This brings the total national deaths to 908," Mkhize said in a statement.
According to the minister, the total number of patients who have recovered to date are 23 088.
"This translates to a recovery rate of 52.24%."
To date, 850 871 tests have been processed cumulatively, of which 30 196 tests have been conducted since the last report.
A breakdown of the latest data supplied by the Department of Health:
Deputy President David Mabuza said on Friday other provinces cannot follow the trajectory of the Western Cape.
"I think that’s the point where the Western Cape lost it, they did not trace contacts. The virus was spreading unnoticed and it just became a problem," said Mabuza.
On a visit to the Western Cape on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged provincial authorities to recruit more staff, allocate more beds and tighten its hot-spot strategy, which has already shown success in the rural district of Witzenberg.
To assist the province, about R3 billion be awarded to it from R20bn set aside to fight the pandemic in the country.
“Funding should never be an issue … if it is, it will be a momentary problem. Three billion or so will be made available because you are the epicentre,” he told Premier Alan Winde before he officially opened the province’s biggest Covid-19 field hospital at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
"It is better to over provide than under provide. I would like to see a margin above what you are providing for. KwaZulu-Natal had also underprovided the beds available and we said they should provide more beds and they are doing that.
"We must be ahead of the curve, over provide. If we do find ourselves in situations where we need beds, it is better to be ready."
Meanwhile, In the first comprehensive review of all studies on Covid-19 protective measures, which has been published in The Lancet, researchers looked at 172 studies and made key findings.
They said while physical distancing of 1m reduced the risk of infection, a distance of 2m is even more effective.
The studies that looked at face shields, goggles and protective glasses suggested that the risk is lowered, especially in health settings, but the evidence for the effectiveness of eye covering is low.
For the general public, disposable surgical masks or cloth masks are adequate. The authors emphasised that people must understand that wearing a mask does not mean that other measures of protection such as distancing and hand hygiene can fall away.
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** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za