Covid-19: Mkhize warns of cases spiking as wife discharged from hospital

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Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Daily Sun
  • After both contracting Covid-19, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's wife was admitted and discharged from hospital with both in good health.
  • Mkhize warned of "small flames" of the virus redeveloping in some parts of South Africa.
  • He said there was a marked spike in infections, particularly in the Western Cape.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is concerned about the risk of a Covid-19 resurgence amid "small flames" he sees redeveloping in parts of the country.

"I wish to bring to the attention of all South Africans that our epidemiological reports are showing that in the country over the last seven days, there has been an increase of 9.1% in new cases. Similarly, over the last 14 days, there has been an increase of 10.7%," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It would be irresponsible of us to ignore 'small flames' that we see redeveloping in some parts of the country. You will recall that a few months ago when we witnessed these trends, it wasn't long before we started experiencing a burden on our health system."

Mkhize added they were also seeing concerning increases in some provinces.

In the last seven days, there was a marked increase of new cases in the Western Cape.

"The province recorded a 42% increase in new infections. According to our resurgence plan, we define this significant spike in new cases in the Western Cape as a resurgence," he said.

"The Western Cape provincial health department has identified specific clusters that are responsible for the increase in cases, and has advised that each of these clusters has been investigated and a detailed outbreak response is being mounted."

Risk of resurgence 'remains high'

The single biggest cluster outbreak was identified in the southern suburbs in Cape Town.

News24 previously reported 89 cases were linked to an event at the Tin Roof bar in Claremont, of which 38 were matric pupils.

READ: Tin Roof party: Covid-19 cases now stand at 89

"We are now encouraging all provinces to pay attention to these increasing numbers and quickly mount a response, including contact tracing and quarantine," said Mkhize.

He also thanked citizens for their well wishes after he and wife, Dr May Mkhize, contracted Covid-19, saying they were improving.

May was admitted to and discharged from hospital in KwaZulu-Natal following her infection.

"I want to assure you that we are improving each day. I remain in quarantine at home; I am resting and recuperating with only a cough remaining from my previous symptoms. I'm also very pleased that my wife has been discharged from hospital today and will now be joining me for quarantine at home."

"When we emphasise that the risk of a resurgence remains high, we do not do so to instill fear in you. As government, we have a responsibility to alert you when we see concerning trends. It would be irresponsible of us to ignore 'small flames' that we see redeveloping in some parts of the country."

ALSO READ | Health Minister and wife test positive for Covid-19

Mkhize said the rate of new infections and deaths would inform the recommendations the health department made to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

"As we continue to monitor the development of a vaccine, the only weapon we possess as a country is our social behaviour and constant adherence to health protocols. All of us must take this responsibility and always encourage those around us."

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