Covid-19: Second wave has not arrived yet, says Zweli Mkhize as he heads to Eastern Cape

SA on Sunday evening recorded 751,024 cumulative Covid-19 cases, while the death toll reached 20,241

Health minister Zweli Mkhize. File picture.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize. File picture.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

SA on Sunday evening passed a grim milestone in the number of Covid-19 infections, recording 751,024 cumulative cases.  

This as the death toll reached 20,241.     

This was announced by health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, during a media briefing on the country's response and readiness to deal with a possible resurgence.

Gauteng accounts for the majority of cases at 30.8%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 16.6%, Western Cape with 16.2%  and Eastern Cape at 14.4%.

Mkhize said the increasing infections did not signal a second wave but pointed to cluster outbreaks in areas which needed to be closely monitored.

“A Covid-19 resurgence is defined as approximately 20% increase of the average incidence of Covid-19 cases using a 7-day moving average within a defined area ... We can't say the second wave has arrived, we have just seen an increase in the cluster activities ... it can still be contained,” he said.

He attributed the increased number of cases to intense activity, including high Covid-19 testing.

Mkhize also expressed concern at the rising infections in the Eastern Cape, blaming irresponsible social behaviour and parties in the province.

“We will be going to the Eastern Cape and we will announce our intervention when we get there,” he said.

The concern comes days after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government would introduce special health measures, crafted with the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO), to curb the spread of the pandemic in the Eastern Cape, which is at risk of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.  

Just before Ramaphosa started his address, news broke that Eastern Cape’s former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani, who had been admitted to ICU with Covid-19 three weeks ago, had died.

“The evidence suggests that the increases in the Eastern Cape could have been triggered by outbreaks in institutions of higher learning, such as universities and in schools, and attendance by people at large gatherings,” said Ramaphosa.

TimesLIVE


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