Coronavirus: Cases increase by 13 285 to 350 879 as Mkhize warns SA about complacency

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
  • Positive Covid-19 cases have risen by 13 285 to 350 879, with 4 948 deaths recorded. 
  • Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reiterated his call for South Africans to follow measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing.
  • "We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging," Mkhize said.

The country has recorded 13 285 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the number to 350 879, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

The death toll now stands at 4 948 after 144 new deaths were reported.

The recovery rate sits at 52%, with a total of 192 230 recoveries.

In the last 24 hours, 49 688 tests were conducted, taking the total to 2 422 741.

READ | Covid-19 storm is approaching - Mkhize

Appeal to adhere to recommendations

Amid concerns people are "letting down their guard", Mkhize once again appealed to all South Africans to follow non-pharmaceutical interventions in the form of hand-washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing.

This, he said, would directly impact rising numbers.

"As the government, we have mobilised every resource, every faculty and wherewithal at our disposal to effect the necessary interventions. But the government cannot manage this unilaterally. Every single South African now needs to focus on adhering to recommendations pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions."

He added there were concerns around some people who were not following these measures at a time when the country could least afford it.

"We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging.

"We see poor or no social distancing in communities. Masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is a laxity setting in around frequent hand-washing.

"This will directly influence the rise in numbers in the next two weeks. We must all appreciate that there is a direct causal link between the surge of cases and our ability, or inability, to adhere to these very basic principles," Mkhize said.

ALSO READ | Recommended isolation time for Covid-19 patients reduced from 14 to 10 days

He warned fighting Covid-19 was dependent on South Africa's willingness to practice these measures.

"We do not have a vaccine. We do not have a cure. Our ability to break the cycle of infection depends on our willingness to remain focused and disciplined and take non-pharmaceutical interventions seriously.

"We can beat this pandemic together. We have already proved this during the lockdown. It remains in each and every citizen's hands to admonish family members, colleagues, friends who refuse to adhere to measures that protect lives by limiting the spread of this virus," Mkhize said.


Covid-19 breakdown 18 July 2020 (Sourced: Department of Health)
Covid-19 breakdown 18 July 2020 (Sourced: Department of Health)

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