As of today [23 April] the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 3 953, this is an increase of 318 cases in the last 24 hours, with a total of 143 570 COVID-19 tests being conducted.

For the first time, the Western Cape has overtaken Gauteng in the total number of confirmed cases, bringing the provinces total to 1279. Gauteng currently has 1252 confirmed cases.

“Today the Western Cape has surpassed Gauteng’s confirmed cases and now has the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in the country. A further analysis is being done as we are observing outbreak clusters in the Western Cape. This means that a large number of people who operate and interact in the same area (eg. factories, shopping centres) are testing positive,”said Minister of health Dr Zwelini Mkhize.

The Western Cape is now also ahead of KwaZulu-Natal in number of coronavirus associated deaths with 28 recorded compared to 27.

The provincial breakdown reads as follows:

Unfortunately 10 news deaths have also been recorded, six in the Western Cape, two in KwaZulu-Natal, one in Gauteng and one in the Eastern Cape. Our condolences are extended to the families of the deceased.

Total deaths and recoveries per province reads as follows:

Health officials are observing a steady increase in the number of positive cases. While this is indeed concerning, they are pleased that the intensified community screening and testing campaign is assisting in finding more COVID-19 positive patients, as it allows them to take the necessary actions such as isolation, quarantine or hospitalisation if required.

To date 3 633 037 people have been involved in the mass screening and testing, of those individuals screened, 24 174 have been referred for further testing.

Earlier on today [23 April] the Director General of the World Health Organisation held an information sharing session with Health Ministers from across the globe in which President MC Ramaphosa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was praised. While government is pleased with this, they remain fully aware that a long way is still ahead of us and we still have a tough battle to fight together as a country.

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