43,434 COVID-19 cases and 908 deaths in South Africa

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 43,434 recorded cases of COVID-19 in South Africa.

This is an increase of 2,642 cases in the last 24 hours.

The minister said the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the country is now 908, which is an increase of 60 over the 848 deaths reported on 4 June.

The total number of recoveries to date are 23,088.

A total of 850,871 tests have been processed to date, of which 30,196 tests have been conducted over the last 24 hours.

The Western Cape recorded 53 deaths in the past 24 hours, and Gauteng recorded 7 more COVID-19-related deaths.

The full provincial breakdown is detailed in the table below.

Province Case Numbers Deaths
Western Cape 28,807 704
Eastern Cape 5,240 95
Gauteng 5,215 40
KwaZulu-Natal 2,936 55
Free State 336 9
Limpopo 215 3
North West 409 1
Mpumalanga 169 0
Northern Cape 102 1
Unknown 5 0

Misleading death reports

Concerns have been raised over how South Africa is counting the number of people who have died in South Africa due to COVID-19.

Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, has attributed the death of a two-day-old baby to complications from premature birth, despite the baby’s COVID-19-positive classification.

Madhi said that the cause of death was hyaline membrane disease and the fact that the child tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was purely coincidental.

Several other cases have also been questioned. These include a two-year-old baby with serious comorbidities, a teenager who was suffering from a very rare disease, and a teenager who died in a car accident.

There appears to be a deficiency in training that has resulted in the forms of at least two COVID-19 deaths being completed incorrectly, Madhi added.

“The absolute manner in which to make a definite diagnosis as to whether a case is due to COVID or not is to do post-mortem biopsies, or a post-mortem,” Madhi stated.

“Unfortunately that is not really done in South Africa. Often we need to use our clinical judgement in terms of whether there is a biological association between the clinical illness that the person dies from and the presence of the virus.”

Now read: Interesting COVID-19 stats in South Africa – Who is dying, where they live, and how quickly it spreads

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43,434 COVID-19 cases and 908 deaths in South Africa