Health minister warns on new restrictions as Covid-19 cases top 10,000 in 24 hours
SA recorded 10,008 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours for the first time since August 1.
SA’s highest ever single-day increase in cases was on July 24, when 13,944 new infections were recorded.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday night that the new cases were at a positivity rate of 21%, more than double the “ideal rate” of 10%. There are now 883,687 total cases countrywide.
Mkhize said cases are “growing exponentially”.
He warned that additional restrictions could be put in place if the rise in cases continues.
“We continue to assess the entire country and, where we identify risks, we will engage and make a determination if further containment measures or restrictions are required.
“Today alone we’ve seen a significant increase in the daily numbers, with the Western Cape continuing to lead and now breaching the 3,000 mark for the first time this week. Seven other provinces reported increases today, while the Eastern Cape reported a decrease in their new cases today,” said Mkhize.
The minister also reported 166 new Covid-19 related deaths. Of these, 89 were in the Eastern Cape, 31 in the Western Cape, 25 in KwaZulu-Natal, 10 in Gauteng, nine in the Free State and two in Limpopo.
In total, 23,827 deaths have been recorded across the country.
The provinces were the biggest number of new infections in the past 24 hours were: Western Cape — 3,233 cases; KwaZulu-Natal — 2,743 cases; Gauteng — 1,795 cases; Eastern Cape — 1,619 cases (the only province to show a decline in new infections, having recorded 1,956 cases on Tuesday); North West — 182 cases; Limpopo — 154 cases; Mpumalanga — 146 cases; Free State — 88 cases; and the Northern Cape — 56 cases.
Mkhize pleaded with South Africans to follow the health guidelines, and also stood by government's decisions to shut certain beaches.
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