While other countries continue take on a second wave of COVID-19, together with its adverse economic effects, the minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has said South Africa is not there yet.
Mkhize held a media briefing on Sunday, 15 November 2020, on the country’s response to the global pandemic. He further outlined South Africa’s readiness to deal with a possible resurgence.
“We can’t say we have the second wave yet. We are seeing cluster outbreaks and if we do not manage these cluster activities, it could flare up,” the health minister said.
Mkhize said they were identifying cluster outbreaks around the country, which he expressed concern over. The minister did say however, that it did not necessarily translate to the entire country experiencing a resurgence in cases.
“We’re just seeing cluster activity. It depends on how we manage the situation in the Eastern Cape and other areas. If contained, the surge could peter out. If we don’t manage it properly, it might start spreading. The activity is still quiet in a number of areas,”
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize
To date, South Africa has recorded 751 024 infections of the coronavirus, after 1 842 cases were picked up on Sunday. The virus has further claimed 20 241 lives. Well over 693 000 others have managed to defeat the respiratory disease which translates to a recovery rate of over 92%. There are currently at least 35 000 active cases of COVID-19.
The country had been recording an average of 2 000 cases of COVID-19 everyday in the previous week, which Mkhize acknowledged.
The health minister has also zeroed in on the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, which have 108 313 and 121 815 cases respectively.
“We have seen increase in activities in Eastern Cape and Western Cape. We can’t say this is a new surge but we are observing these areas,” said Mkhize.
The minister added however, that they would be conducting more tests for COVID-19 in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape. He also touched on the hospitalisations the country has seen as a result of the coronavirus, saying there had been capacity.
“We never ran out of beds, oxygen or ventilators. In fact, most of the ventilators were not used. We made adequate provision,” Mkhize said.