Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has raised his concerns about the climbing figures of positive COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
“Over the past week, there has been an increase of 9.1% in new cases,” he said, adding that there has been an increase of 10.7% over the last 14 days.
The country now has 710 515 detected COVID-19 cases after 2 156 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Thursday, October 23.
Meanwhile, 102 more people succumbed to the respiratory disease pushing the death toll to 18 843.
“Of the 102 deaths reported today [Thursday], 20 occurred in the past 48 hours,” Mkhize said, adding that 25 788 tests were performed since the last report.
The Minister has once again urged citizens to continue to wear masks in public, wash hands frequently, and practice social distancing.
“Fellow South Africans, when we emphasise that the high risk of resurgence remains high, we do not do so to instil fear in you… The only weapon we have against COVID-19 is our social behaviour and constant adherence to health protocols,” Mkhize said.
According to Mkhize, the Western Cape Health Department has identified specific COVID-19 clusters that are responsible for the upsurge in that province which has sparked a 42% increase in the new infections.
“We must remain vigilant,” the Minister pleaded.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has appealed to all residents to continue to take the necessary precautions.
“We also call on businesses and places where people are allowed to gather, including churches and government buildings, to ensure that the necessary safety protocols are in place.”
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 41 104 946 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1 128 325 deaths reported, globally.