Biggest jump in coronavirus cases in South Africa since March

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has risen by 96 to 1,845 – the biggest daily increase since March.

Five more COVID-19 deaths were recorded, which brings the total number of coronavirus deaths to 18.

The latest COVID-19 victims were aged between 52 and 77. Two of the victims are from Gauteng, two from the Free State, and one from KwaZulu-Natal.

The higher number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was linked to the higher number of daily tests.

Since the last report two days, 5,678 new coronavirus tests were conducted – which increased the total number of tests to 63,776.

New daily coronavirus cases

Coronavirus cases per province

Province Number of cases
Gauteng 782
Western Cape 495
KwaZulu-Natal 354
Free State 88
Eastern Cape 45
Limpopo 21
Mpumalanga 21
North West 15
Northern Cape 13
Unallocated 11

Strange case number trends

What stands out about the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is that it does 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.

Now read: South Africa’s strange COVID-19 case numbers

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Biggest jump in coronavirus cases in South Africa since March