Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize revealed that there are now 215,855 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa – a daily increase of 10,134 cases.
Mkhize further announced that there were 192 new COVID-19 related deaths, taking the total to 3,502 casualties and 102,299 recoveries to date.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa doubled over the last two weeks, which is an indication of the fast growth rate.
This rapid rise in cases has seen South Africa climb to number 14 on the global COVID-19 list, above China, France, and Germany.
The Western Cape remains the province with the highest number of cases at 72,156, followed by Gauteng on 71,488 and the Eastern Cape on 40,401.
Gauteng, however, is the new epicentre of the virus in South Africa with a big increase in cases over the last two weeks.
Prof Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee, said it was always expected that the virus would spread the fastest in Gauteng for two reasons:
- The number of foreign and domestic travellers are the highest in Gauteng.
- The province has the highest population density – Johannesburg is South Africa’s New York equivalent.
He said the lockdown in April and May stemmed the spread of the virus in Gauteng, which gave the province time to prepare for the increase in cases.
Therefore, while the Western Cape dominated new cases for many weeks, the focus has now shifted to Gauteng which is bracing itself for the inevitable storm it is now facing.
To illustrate the change in epicentres, Al Jazeera developed a chart using Media Hack’s information which shows how the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases changed per province since the first case in South Africa was reported on 5 March.
It gives a good overview of how COVID-19 spread across South Africa over the last 4 months.