Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa has recorded 10,015 confirmed COVID-19 cases – a daily increase of 595.
Mkhize added that there were 8 more deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus in South Africa to 194.
The Western Cape’s total number of COVID-19 cases currently stands at 5,168, followed by Gauteng on 1,952, and KwaZulu-Natal on 1,353.
The Western Cape and Eastern Cape combined contributed 84% of reported new cases in South Africa.
The total number of coronavirus tests in South Africa has increased to 341,336, a daily increase of 17,257.
The table below provides an overview of the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths per province.
Western Cape’s high number of cases
The Western Cape contributes over half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
The severity of the outbreak in the province is clearly illustrated by the number of infections per 100,000 people.
Media Hack reported that the Western Cape has 70 infections per 100,000 people. This is much higher than the Eastern Cape (16), Gauteng (13), and KwaZulu-Natal (12).
The reason for the rapid increase in cases, Mkhize explained, is caused by cluster outbreaks in certain areas.
The cluster outbreaks and the early onset of local transmissions is what led to the higher COVID-19 numbers in the province.
“Cluster outbreaks are happening in commercial settings like factories and retail shops,” said Mkhize.
He said these cluster outbreaks can happen anywhere, adding there is nothing the Western Cape is doing differently which is causing the higher numbers.
Professor Alex van den Heever, chair of social security at the Wits School of Governance, added that good screening and testing in the province is another contributing factor.
He said there is insufficient screening and testing for COVID-19 in other provinces.
Van den Heever said the low increases reported in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and the Free State are unlikely.
Instead, he suggested it is “in all likelihood attributable to poorly implemented screening, testing, and tracing strategies”.