As of Friday, South Africa has recorded a total of 688,532 cases of Covid-19, with 1,641 new cases identified since the last report, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced.
139 more deaths have been reported: 23 from Eastern Cape, 3 from the Free State, 65 from KwaZulu-Natal, 28 from Gauging, 4 from Limpopo, 7 from North West, 4 from Northern Cape and 5 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 17,547.
“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients,” said Mkhize.
The Western Cape Department of Health has disputed claims that Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital is running out of space for Covid-19 cases, saying it only has 17 positive cases admitted currently.
“This is way below the number of admissions seen previously,” said spokesperson Mark van der Heever.
He cautioned the public from making false claims and spreading fake news.
“New Covid-19 infections, deaths and hospitalisations continue to decline in the Western Cape,” he said.
“While this is good news, we must remain vigilant and continue to do everything possible to prevent a rise in Covid-19 infections in the future – as is being witnessed in other places in the world today.”
“Our best defence is to adapt to the new normal by always wearing our masks when in public, keeping at least a 1.5m distance from other people, and continuing to wash and sanitise our hands.”
He said the Brackengate special facility had 23 cases by Thursday, and still had sufficient capacity to admit confirmed cases under investigation for Covid-19.
The hospital would remain open for the near future as part of the department’s preparedness strategy should a second wave emerge, to ensure sufficient capacity continues to remain available.
Premier Alan Winde also posted a message about similar claims on WhatsApp regarding Groote Schuur Hospital.
“We urge the public NOT to spread fake news as it is illegal,” he wrote in a message on his Facebook page.
In Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s daily update on Thursday, the Western Cape had 112 012 positive cases out of the national total of 686 891. Another eight people had died in the province, which was the first to see a surge in cases. A total of 4 239 deaths in the province were reported by Thursday.