Although the trends relating to the coronovirus (Covid-19) pandemic in South Africa are encouraging, the threat of a second wave remains very real and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has urged South Africans to show restraint, especially in their social lives.
“We are encouraged to see some key indicators showing improvement in the state of the South African pandemic. In the world ranking of total number of cases per country, we have dropped from 5th position to 7th position,” Mkhize said in a statement.
It was also encouraging to see the number of active cases steadily declining from 90 103 on August 20 to 62 582 on Friday. This translated to a 31 percent decrease in two weeks. A high recovery rate continued to be registed, currently at 88 percent. The testing positivity rate also continued to decline, now at 11 percent nationally.
“Despite ranking 7th for the number of positive cases identified, we rank number 13 for the cumulative number of Covid-19-related deaths recorded. On 1 September, the Medical Research Council (MRC) reported that unnatural deaths continue to decline (although this decline has slowed down).
“On the other hand, it would be remiss of me not to inform the public that the same report indicated that unnatural deaths have increased following the easing of alcohol restrictions – unnatural deaths now exceed the MRC predicted number.
“We have been very concerned to see videos on social media of people hosting large parties and going to shebeens, taverns, and bars beyond the curfew. We urge our people to continue observing health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitising and washing of hands. We also caution against sharing of drinks, cigarettes, cigars, shisha pipes (‘hubbly bubbly’) etc. Be aware that if you do this you have directly put yourself at risk.
“While socialising and having fun, do not let your guard down and put your life and the lives of your loved ones at risk. The threat of a second wave remains very real. As we start the weekend, we wish to plead with South Africans to adhere to the curfew and not to drink excessively and irresponsibly,” Mkhize said.
As of Friday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa was 635 078, with 2063 new cases identified. The number of Covid-19-related deaths increased by 115 bringing the total to 14 678, he said.
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