COVID-19 deaths hit 14 889, while cases rise to 638 517

South Africa recorded 1 633 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday compared to 1 806 on Saturday.

According to the Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, there are now 638 517 cumulative confirmed cases since the country recorded its first case in March 2020.

Meanwhile, 110 more people succumbed to the novel Coronavirus which brings the death toll to 14 889.

Of the additional fatalities, 38 are in Mpumalanga, 31 in KwaZulu-Natal, 24 in Gauteng, nine in the Free State, seven in the Eastern Cape, and one in the Western Cape.

Also, 563 891 patients have recuperated, while 3 800 190 have been tested of which 16 367 were performed in the last 24 hours.

Gauteng remains the hardest-hit province with 212 898 cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 114 824, Western Cape 107 187, and the Eastern Cape with 86 849 cases.

The least affected provinces are the Free State with 39 781 cases, North West 26 245, Mpumalanga 25 076, Limpopo 13 734, and the Northern Cape with 11 923 cases.

World ranking

The Minister said the government is encouraged to see some key indicators showing improvement in the state of the pandemic in the country.

“In the world ranking of a total number of cases per country, we have dropped from the fifth position to seventh position,” Mkhize wrote on Friday.

The decline in active cases, unnatural deaths

In addition, the number of active cases is steadily declining, while there is a high recovery rate stands at 88%.

“The testing positivity rate continues to decline as well, now at 11% nationally on the 12th  of July, corresponding more or less with the peak of our pandemic, we recorded the highest positivity rate at 30%.”

Despite South Africa ranked seventh in terms of the number of positive cases, the country has the 13th highest death toll in the world.

Meanwhile, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) reported that unnatural deaths continue to drop although this decline has slowed down.

“On the other hand, it would be remiss of me not to inform the public that the same report indicated that unnatural deaths have increased following the easing of alcohol restrictions – unnatural deaths now exceed the SAMRC predicted number,” he added.

Social distancing

Mkhize said the government is “very concerned” to see videos on social media of people hosting large parties and going to shebeens, taverns, and bars and violating the curfew.

The Minister is pleading with citizens to continue observing health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitizing, and washing of hands.

“We also caution against sharing of drinks, cigarettes, cigars, shisha pipes or ‘hubbly bubbly’ and so on. Be aware that if you do this you have directly put yourself at risk,” he added.

Mkhize has also warned that the threat of a second wave remains “very real”.

“We wish to plead with South Africans to adhere to the curfew and not to drink excessively and irresponsibly.”

Globally, there have been 26 763 217 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 876 616 deaths reported to the World Health Organisation. – SAnews.gov.za

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