Health minister Zweli Mkhize (centre). Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
Health minister Zweli Mkhize (centre). Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

The Western Cape overtook Gauteng as the epicentre of SA’s Covid-19 outbreak on Thursday, as the total number of confirmed cases nationwide rose to 3,953, up 318 on the day before.

Western Cape has now recorded 1,279 cases, followed by Gauteng with 1,252 and KwaZulu-Natal with 807, according to a statement released by health minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday evening. The biggest day-on-day increase was in the Western Cape, which reported 200 new cases.

The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 rose by 10, to 75. The largest number of deaths have occurred in Western Cape (28), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (27). Gauteng has recorded 8 deaths.

Further analysis was under way into the outbreak clusters observed in Western Cape, where large numbers of people who interacted in areas such as factories and shopping centres were testing positive, said the minister.

More than 3.6-million people had been screened for Covid-19 so far, of whom 2,4714 had been referred for testing, he said.

 “We are observing a steady increase in the number of positive cases. While this concerns us, we are also pleased that the intensified community screening and testing campaign is assisting in finding more Covid-19 positive patients. This allows us to take the necessary actions such as isolation, quarantine or hospitalisation if required,” said the minister. “The epidemiologists also continue to analyse these trends to in order for the country to better understand the impact of the outbreak as it unfolds,” he said.

Eastern Cape has recorded 417 cases, Free State 106, Limpopo 27, North West 25, Mpumalanga 23, and Northern Cape 16. One case has not been allocated.