The Department of Health announced today [May 4] that the total number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased to 7220.

The confirmed cases are broken down by province as follows:

Eastern Cape: 814
Free State: 125
Gauteng: 1661
KwaZulu-Natal: 1106
Limpopo: 39
Mpumalanga: 53
North West: 35
Northern Cape: 25
Western Cape: 3362
Total: 7220

To date 257,541 tests have been conducted of which 11 794 were done in the last 24 hours. The public sector has conducted 129,392 tests in total, while the private sector’s total number of tests to date is 128,149.

Unfortunately, the country has also reported 7 more COVID-19 related deaths. Of which, 6 were from the Western Cape and 1 from KwaZulu Natal. This brings the total coronavirus related deaths in South Africa to 138.

The Health Department expressed their sympathy for those who have lost loved ones. “We wish to express our condolences to the families of the deceased and thank the health care workers who treated these patients,” they said in a statement.

It should, however, be noted that the 2746 recoveries were reported as of May 2, 2020.

The provincial breakdown of deaths and recoveries is as follows:

The Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, urged citizens to continue to play their part in flattening the curve and thus lightening the load on the health care system.

He noted that on May 2, there were 411 people hospitalized in the country. This means about 5% of confirmed coronavirus patients are hospitalized and it is consistent with the rates in China.

“Our mortality rate has remained stable at around 1.9% since the first death was  reported. This is below the world average which is 3.4% as estimated by the World Health Organisation,” he said.

“As a reminder to all South Africans, the principle of flattening the curve is to limit the spread of the infection such that the numbers do not rise to the extent that they overwhelm the health care system. As Winter sets in we will be confronted with the additional burden of influenza and other pneumonias, bronchiolitis in children, exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease and winter related trauma, like burns injuries, ” he added.

He urged citizens to continue to follow safe health measures including staying home if possible, wearing a mask in public spaces at all times, and washing hands regularly.

“I also urge employers whose businesses have opened to take all the necessary measures to protect their employees,” he said.

Mkhize also saluted those on the front lines, who are fighting the virus and continue to serve during these tough and unprecedented times.

Picture: Unsplash

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