Mzansi’s COVID-19 cases have increased by 1 673 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 25 937 in the country.

Meanwhile, the national death toll has risen to 552 after 28 more people succumbed to COVID-19 related illness, the Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said in a statement on Wednesday (May 27).

“We wish to express our condolences to the loved ones of the deceased and thank the health workers who treated these patients,” he said.

Provincial breakdown

The Western Cape remains the epicentre, with 391 deaths, followed by the Eastern with 70, KwaZulu-Natal 49 and Gauteng 31.

The Free States has six deaths, Limpopo has three, while North West and Northern Cape each have one.

Mpumalanga is the only province that reported zero deaths.

“The recoveries to date are 13 451, which translates to a recovery rate of 52%,” Mkhize said.

July to August will see rise in infections

Answering questions in the National Assembly, Dr. Mkhize said the peak of the infection is expected in mid-July in the pessimistic scenario and mid-August in the optimistic scenario, according to the South African Modelling Consortium.

“These models should be considered dynamic and dependent on new data that comes in. It should only be used as a guide for what may be possible,” Mkhize said.

He said estimations show that the number of deaths could range between 34 000 and 50 000.

“All of these figures have also been challenged by other academics… They are open for debate by those who are specialists in this area… We do believe that the models will improve as time goes and more raw data is fed into their assumptions.”

As the places of worship are among the facilities that will be allowed to open on 1 June under strict regulations, Mkhize said they salute the religious leaders who have embraced the decision to lockdown the country.

“There will be a number of restrictions that we in our normal daily lives will have to put in place. We take the church and the faith-based community as partners in the fight against COVID-19, particularly to ensure social behavioural change,” Mkhize said.

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