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Govt to assess COVID-19 rules as new cases soar, says Health Minister Mkhize

Zweli Mkhize

With the COVID-19 daily infection rate once again exceeding 10,000, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the government would assess the entire country and make a decision on whether to implement further containment measures and restrictions.

On Monday when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tighter lockdown regulations, he said the government’s national command council was on standby to closely monitor developments during the second wave.

Ramaphosa warned should the situation deteriorate further action will be taken.

The country has recorded 883,687 cases of the virus and the death toll stands at 23,827.

One hundred and sixty-six of these fatalities were reported over the past 24-hour cycle.

“We wish to commend all South Africans who heeded the government’s call and complied with regulations by not going to the beaches. We know that although this has taken away time for enjoyment from our people, it will certainly contribute to curbing the spread of the virus,” Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Western Cape has recorded the highest daily infection rate, topping more than 3,000, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, which is not far behind that 3,000 mark.

Gauteng has added nearly 1,800 new infections to its grim balance sheet.

The daily infection rate of other provinces like Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the Northern Cape has doubled in the last day.

However, the Eastern Cape’s daily infection rate has declined slightly, although it is still high at 1,600.

For the first time in months, South Africa has passed the 10,000 mark of daily new coronavirus cases – the last time the infection rate was this high was in early July at the peak of the first wave.

“We have breached the ten thousand mark for new cases. Our daily cases are growing exponentially. Our positivity rate is sitting at 21%,” Mkhize added.

Back then, it took the country just 17 days to reach is peak of just under 14,000 confirmed cases.


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