South Africa has 2 003 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with 24 deaths.

Today, the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, tweeted that the country has recorded 410 recoveries. “Our healthworkers are fighting in a heroic way,” he said.

Provincial statistics to date

The Gauteng province has the highest number of positive cases with 801, followed by the Western Cape with 541.

KwaZulu-Natal has 412, Free State 94, Eastern Cape 68, Limpopo 24, Mpumalanga 20, North West 18 and the Northern Cape 15

About 10 are unallocated cases.

KwaZulu-Natal has recorded the highest number of deaths with 12, followed by the Western Cape with six and Gauteng and the Free State with three, respectively.

Nationwide screening continues

The Minister said with the extension of the national lockdown by two weeks, screening and social distancing will continue to be key solutions in slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Furthermore, 13 488 tracers have been bought to help the government find the contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19.

“We want to call on everyone to cooperate with the screening processes. Contact tracing, screening and test referring will be our strongest way going forward.

“Contact tracing is important. We need to scale up the screening of patients in various communities. So far, 456 074 people have been screened in the provinces,” said the Minister.

“We must have a new culture of social distancing, and no hugs, kissing or shaking of hands.”

Dr Zweli Mkhize

He added that about 73 028 COVID-19 tests have been conducted.

Wearing mask is now recommended

Minister Mkhize said the widespread use of masks is now recommended in the arsenal against the virus.

“We recommend the widespread use of cloth masks. Individuals can make their own masks. However, there shouldn’t be a need for everyone to wear surgical masks. Therefore, tet’s reserve those for the frontline workers treating patients,” Mkhize said.

He warned, however, that we must be cautious when using masks.

“Don’t keep touching or removing the mask. Treat the mask as potentially infective. Ensure regular washing of the mask,” the Minister said.

“We were able to agree on the issue that protection of staff is the most important. No member of staff will be forced to go to work without the respective gear that they need in their designated position,” Mkhize said.

Infographic from the Health Department

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