JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has recorded 1,134 more coronavirus cases and 30 more deaths, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday.
This means that there are now 19,137 confirmed cases of the virus in the country.
The minister confirmed that the death toll had increased by 30 to 369.
Mkhize said that as expected, the number of infections continued to rise rapidly.
“A lot of infections seem to have happened even at the time we instituted the lockdown. Infections were confirmed largely in people who are in the essential services and the food retail chain,” he said.
With 525,433 tests done so far, Mkhize said that the Western Cape remained the epicentre in the country. 18,572 tests were done in the past 24 hours nationwide.
“The Western Cape has increased and they’re standing at 12,153 cases They’re now at 63% of all the positive cases in the country. This has necessitated us to move with additional support and reinforcement,” Mkhize said.
The minister said they were looking at different models on how to fight the pandemic.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 21, 2020
Meanwhile, the minister said that the government would send reinforcements to the Western Cape.
He said that the situation in the province needed more resources to get infections under control.
“Our teams of Cuban doctors of 28 specialists have gone in there. There will also be additional reinforcements coming from the military health services. And we’ve agreed that they need to go all out to employ additional human resources, particularly the nurses,” Mkhize said.
With the country preparing to move to level 3 lockdown, Mkhize said they had to work smart.
“We’re going to have to increase the field hospital beds more than we are seeing today,” he said.
The minister said they would look at how Gauteng and the Free State managed to decrease the number of its infections.