2 003 confirmed cases, 24 COVID-19 deaths

South Africa has 2 003 con­firmed cas­es of Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19), with 24 deaths.

On Fri­day, 10 April, the Min­is­ter of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said the coun­try has record­ed 410 recov­er­ies.

To date, Gaut­eng has the high­est num­ber of pos­i­tive cas­es with 801, fol­lowed by the West­ern Cape with 541. KwaZu­lu-Natal has 412, Free State 94, East­ern Cape 68, Limpopo 24, Mpumalan­ga 20, North West 18 and the North­ern Cape 15, with 10 unal­lo­cat­ed cas­es.

KwaZu­lu-Natal has record­ed the high­est num­ber of deaths with 12, fol­lowed by the West­ern Cape with 6 and Gaut­eng and the Free State with three, respec­tive­ly.

The Min­is­ter said with the Pres­i­dent hav­ing extend­ed the nation­al lock­down by two weeks, screen­ing and social dis­tanc­ing will con­tin­ue to be key pil­lars in slow­ing the spread of the virus.

Fur­ther­more, 13 488 trac­ers have been brought on board to help the coun­try to find the con­tacts of those who test pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

“We want to call on every­one to coop­er­ate with the screen­ing process­es. Con­tact trac­ing, screen­ing and test refer­ring will be our strongest way going for­ward. We must have a new cul­ture of social dis­tanc­ing, and no hugs, kiss­ing or shak­ing of hands.

“Con­tact trac­ing is impor­tant. We need to scale up the screen­ing of patients in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties. Thus far, 456 074 peo­ple have been screened in the provinces,” said the Min­is­ter, adding that 73 028 COVID-19 tests have been con­duct­ed.

He said the wide­spread use of masks is now rec­om­mend­ed in the arse­nal against the virus.

“We rec­om­mend the wide­spread use of cloth masks. Indi­vid­u­als can make their own masks.

“There shouldn’t be a need for every­one to wear sur­gi­cal masks. Let’s reserve those for the front­line work­ers treat­ing patients,” Mkhize said.

He warned, how­ev­er, that peo­ple must be cau­tious when using masks.

“Don’t keep touch­ing or remov­ing the mask. Treat the mask as poten­tial­ly infec­tive. Ensure reg­u­lar wash­ing of the mask,” the Min­is­ter said.

Mkhize said author­i­ties have met with a large num­ber of unions, where the pro­tec­tion of health work­ers was dis­cussed.

“We were able to agree on the issue that pro­tec­tion of staff is the most impor­tant. No mem­ber of staff will be forced to go to work with­out the respec­tive gear that they need in their des­ig­nat­ed posi­tion,” Mkhize said.

The Min­is­ter said he is impressed with the uni­ty that has been shown dur­ing this time among all quar­ters of soci­ety.

Effects of lock­down

Since the lock­down came into effect at mid­night on 26 March, the rate at which new cas­es have been iden­ti­fied in South Africa has slowed sig­nif­i­cant­ly, accord­ing to Mkhize.

In the two weeks before the lock­down, the aver­age dai­ly increase in new cas­es was around 42%. Since the start of the lock­down, the aver­age dai­ly increase has been around 4%, the Min­is­ter said. – SAnews.gov.za

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