Covid-19: Eastern Cape responsible for half of new daily infections - Mkhize

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Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Health.
Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Health.
Darren Stewart
  • The Eastern Cape now accounts for between 50% and 55% of the daily new Covid-19 cases.
  • Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says it is too soon to call it a second wave of infections.
  • He is heading to the province to look at resources on a local level.

Whether the resurgence of Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape will become a second wave of infections, depends on how successful that area is contained, says Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who is heading to the province.

On Wednesday, Mkhize was briefing a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committees on Health and Women, Children and People with Disabilities on a report by the Commission for Gender Equality looking at the forced sterilisation of HIV-positive women, when DA MP Siviwe Gwarube asked him for an update on the situation in the Eastern Cape.

READ | SA's deadliest Covid-19 hospitals - 7 of 10 worst performing facilities in the Eastern Cape

Mkhize responded that, at the peak of the pandemic, there were around 13 000 new cases per day, but that this had dropped to about 1 000 per day.

"But now those cases have started creeping up. And, as they creep up, we see that the increase is actually coming from the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.

New cases

"More significantly, the Eastern Cape is now on a daily basis responsible for between 50 and 55% of new positive cases recorded."

According to Mkhize it is too early to call it a second wave.

"It’s a cluster outbreak that’s beginning to respond to what we define as a resurgence - whether that’s already the next whole wave or not depends on how successful we are in containing that area".

Mkhize is also concerned about the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

He is going to the Eastern Cape to look at human resources and the availability of equipment, including oxygen, at local level.

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