52,991 COVID-19 cases in South Africa

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 52,991 COVID-19 cases in South Africa.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths has increased to 1,162. This is an increase of 82 deaths over the last 24 hours.

61 of these deaths were recorded in the Western Cape, 11 from the Eastern Cape, and 10 from Gauteng.

968,070 tests have been conducted to date, of which 25,012 were conducted in the last 24 hours.

The total number of recoveries to date are 29,006, which translates to a recovery rate of 54.8%.

The provincial breakdown of recorded cases and deaths is below.

Province Case Numbers Deaths
Western Cape 34,819 890
Eastern Cape 6,760 138
Gauteng 6,546 57
KwaZulu-Natal 3,255 62
North West 604 1
Free State 391 9
Limpopo 253 3
Mpumalanga 184 1
Northern Cape 122 1
Unknown 57 0

Strange situation

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the Health Minister’s COVID-19 advisory group, has pointed out that South Africa is in a unique position with relation to its cases and lockdown restrictions.

He said that while most countries wait for the number of COVID-19 cases to go down before they ease their lockdown restrictions, South Africa is going in the opposite direction.

The country has lifted most lockdown restrictions while the number of coronavirus cases is increasing.

One of the big concerns is that the recent opening of schools in South Africa will result in the rapid spread of the virus.

Karim dismissed this concern, saying they anticipate going back to school will have minimal effect on the overall COVID-19 transmission.

“We expect a few cases in schools which will occur – people will bring it from their homes or wherever they have been to. But we are not expecting it will cause any major concerns,” said Karim.

This is in line with recent comments from the World Health Organization’s Dr Maria Van Kerkhove that the asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is rare.

Now read: South Africa’s strange COVID-19 lockdown strategy puts us in a unique situation – Professor Karim

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52,991 COVID-19 cases in South Africa