Covid-19: We are over the surge; now we must be responsible - Zweli Mkhize

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Gallo Images/Darren Stewart
  • Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa is "over the surge" of Covid-19 infections. 
  • He has, however, warned that a resurgence is possible if people don't act responsibly.
  • South Africa now has a total of 609 773 confirmed Covid-19 infections, 13 059 deaths and 506 470 recoveries.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa is "over the surge" of Covid-19 infections, but warns that a resurgence might be on the cards if people neglect precautionary measures.

Mkhize released the latest coronavirus statistics and numbers late on Sunday.

A cumulative total of 609 773 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa. 

A further 72 Covid-19-related fatalities have been recorded: 11 in the Eastern Cape, 41 in Gauteng, 12 in KwaZulu-Natal, and eight in the Western Cape. This brings the total Covid-19-related deaths to 13 059.

The recoveries now stand at 506 470, which translates to a recovery rate of 83%. This is well above the global average of 64.5%.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 3 553 425, with 18 358 new tests conducted since the last report.

Mkhize said: "We can say we are over the surge. The plateau has started. [In the] Western Cape it's been over two months. KwaZulu-Natal is also now decreasing. That's indicative of a promising time."

Don't neglect precautionary measures

But, the minister warned everyone to take personal responsibility to avoid a resurgence.

"The real risk we are worried about is resurgence if people neglect precautionary measures," Mkhize said.

READ | A 2nd wave of Covid-19 infections is likely but unpredictable, says top NICD expert

"Different countries have had to reimpose restrictions. We will have to do the same if people start behaving complacently.

"We hope we don't have to go in that direction. It is a decision that is not taken lightly. We do think it's possible for people to exercise social behavioural changes.

"Let's focus on the containment measures: Use of masks, washing hands regularly and sanitising."

He added that, at this point, there was no shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). "We have a challenge in administration of PPE. We are addressing that."

He added: "The reports of corruption are devastating. People are taking advantage of their authority over resources. We condemn corruption and want to work together with law enforcement to root out corruption."

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