Covid-19 cases now at 45 973, 44 more deaths
Cape Town – South Africa’s confirmed Covid-19 cases now stand at 45 973, with 44 more deaths reported over the past 24 hours, according to the latest statistics released by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday.
This represents an increase of 2 539 cases in the past 24 hours. The national death toll stands at 952. Of the deaths reported over the past 24 hours, 25 came from the Western Cape, 6 from KwaZulu-Natal, 7 from Gauteng and 6 from the Eastern Cape.
“Although the numbers of Covid-19 related deaths are rising, our mortality rate remains at 2%, well below the global average of 6%,” Mkhize said. The Western Cape remains the epicentre of the coronavirus in the country with 30 379 confirmed cases, representing 66.1% of the national case load.
To date, 24 258 people have recovered from Covid-19 nationally, representing a 52.8% recovery rate, Mkhize said.
Reopening of schools
As the Department of Basic Education finalised preparations for the reopening of schools on Monday, Mkhize weighed in on the debate on Saturday saying schools would have to be reopened as the Covid-19 pandemic would be around for some time.
“We are saying the pandemic is going to be with us for a long time. We can’t abandon schooling and economic activity. We can see some children are doing e-learning, but the bulk of the children don’t have activity to be part of e-learning. This is a problem of us trying to walk together,” said Mkhize.
Flu season could hamper Covid-19 fight
Earlier this month, Mkhize told Parliament that modelling available to the Health Ministry forecast a peak in infections around mid-July, in a pessimistic scenario.
In a more optimistic scenario, infections were likely to peak in mid-August.
Professor Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, has warned that the expected spike in season flu will hamper the fight against the coronavirus because the two diseases present very similar symptoms.
“They present in similar ways. Flu is generally more severe, however, Covid, in a small proportion of patients, becomes very severe and then often leads to death,” Prof Karim commented in a video posted on the National Health Insurance Facebook page.
“Our problem is going to be that if we simultaneously have our flu season and our Covid pandemic, we’ll have problems teasing them out. So we’ll have patients who actually have flu coming in to our clinics and hospitals to be treated for Covid-19, and in the process they may be exposed to Covid-19 because our hospitals will be so full of Covid-19 patients.”
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