Nearly 150 new Covid-19 cases in SA, bringing total to 2,415

Nearly 150 new Covid-19 cases in SA, bringing total to 2,415
30 January 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Essen: Kübra Yilmaz, nurse at the infection ward of the university hospital, in protective clothing and with a breathing mask, looks at two smear tubes. In Essen, the city and university hospital feel well prepared for patients infected with the novel coronavirus. Photo: Bernd Thissen/dpa

The number of positive Covid-19 cases in SA is fast climbing towards the 2,500 mark, with health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday announcing an additional 143 cases.

On Monday, Mkhize said SA had 2,272 cases across the country, but by Tuesday afternoon this had increased to 2,415 cases.

He did not announce any additional deaths, meaning the official death toll remains at 27.

Of the confirmed cases, Gauteng remains SA’s epicentre with 909 cases. The Western Cape has 643 cases, KwaZulu-Natal 489 and the Eastern Cape 174.

The least-hit province is the Northern Cape, with 16 confirmed cases.

Mkhize said 87,022 tests had been conducted to date – an increase of 3,359 from the 83,663 announced on Monday.

On Monday, acclaimed epidemiologist and government advisor Prof Salim Abdool Karim warned that the week of April 10 to 16 was “critical” for SA.

He said if there were more than 90 confirmed “passive” cases of Covid-19 per day on average – that is cases of people who have come to medical facilities for treatment, as opposed to those identified through the government’s current tracing and testing programme – then the medical advice was to “extend the lockdown” beyond the end of April.

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