The Department of Health announced that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa has increased to 1,749.
This is an increase of 63 cases over the last day, with one more death being recorded, bringing the total number of deaths due to the virus in the country up to 13.
The patient who died was also suffering from prostate cancer, the department said.
“There is also another death, bringing the total to 13 deaths. It was a male who had stage 4 prostate cancer at Parklands Hospital.”
As of 7 April 2020, 58,098 tests have been conducted in South Africa and 45 people who tested positive have recovered from the virus.
As at today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1749. There is also another death, bringing the total to 13 deaths. It was a male who had stage 4 prostrate cancer at Parklands Hospital. We convey our condolences to the family of the deceased #ZweliMkhize
— Department of Health: COVID-19 (@COVID_19_ZA) April 7, 2020
Strange case number trends
What stands out about the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is they do not follow the same trend as those in other countries.
In countries like the United States, Spain, and Italy, for example, there is a consistent increase in cases until they reach a plateau.
None of these countries showed a rapid increase in cases and then a sudden decline – as observed in South Africa.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said last week they expected between 4,000 and 5,000 cases by around 2 April. This makes sense if South Africa followed the same infection pattern as other countries.
The number of cases has remained under control, however, with new cases reported each day falling sharply after the implementation of the lockdown.
Mkhize put the lower-than-expected infection rate down to closing South Africa’s borders quickly, quarantining of inbound travellers, enforcing a lockdown, and preventing mass gatherings.
While the measures which the government implemented to fight the virus outbreak are most likely effective, the minister said South Africa needs to remain alert to prevent a mass outbreak.
He explained that coronavirus testing in South Africa has to date been reactive and restrictive, which means we may not have the full picture of the problem.