Another 5 163 cases take total to 866 127

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MEC Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkhize visited Nasrec as part of monitoring state of readiness as COVID-19 cases increase in Gauteng and to support staff working during pandemic, 20 July 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

As announced by President MC Ramaphosa, today a cumulative total of 866 127 Covid-19 cases have been reported, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.

A cumulative total ot 5 884 227 tests nave been completed with 25 049 new tests conducted since the last report

“Regrettably, 175 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 93, Free State 16, Gauteng 4, KwaZulu-Natal 5, North West 5, Northern Cape 20 and Western Cape 32. This brings the total to 23 451 deaths.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased,” he said.

The nation’s recoveries now stand at 762 746.

The Eastern Cape has already shown the first warning signs of coming close to exceeding capacity of the private healthcare system, according to Discovery Health’s findings amid South Africa’s second wave of infections.

Presenting its data findings on the second wave on Monday, Discovery Health chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Ryan Noach revealed that South Africa’s infection rates were following a similar pattern to Europe’s second wave.

“South Africa is now clearly in a second wave. The Eastern Cape and Western Cape, in particular, are currently experiencing a surge in new infections with a well-established second wave, and we fully expect the imminent emergence of a second wave in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

“Across these provinces Discovery’s data classifies a number of hotspot areas where additional precautions should be taken due to significantly elevated rates of active Covid-19 infections,” he said.

Noach said the proportion of infections from higher risk groups including those older adults over the age of 60 has increased 1.6 times in the Eastern Cape, with a 17% increase in hospitalisation, while the Garden Route was also experiencing shortages in hospital beds, with patients needing to be moved by emergency services to other parts of the country, where there were still sufficient hospital beds available.

He further said that since the year-end matric celebration Rage Festival in Umhlanga and Ballito, KZN, which was identified as a super-spreader event, data indicated that over 80% of attendees tested positive for Covid-19.

The Citizen