Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned South Africans of renewed restrictions amid the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

In a statement on Wednesday [December 23], Mkhize announced said the current restrictions will be reviewed following the large jump in daily cases the country is currently experiencing.

“Today we report, with concern, that 14 046 COVID-19 cases have been identified since the last report at a positivity rate of 26%. Therefore, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases today is 954 258,” said Mkhize.

“This indicates that the virus continues to spread exponentially- indeed the rate of spread is much faster than the first wave and we will surpass the peak of the first wave in the coming days.

“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread.”

New restrictions will likely be focused on KwaZulu Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng.

All provinces, with the exception of the Eastern Cape, continue to report a daily increases in cases. KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng Province are registering the largest increases which make up 81% of the new cases for December 23 (30%, 28% and 23% respectively).

“Therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate the situation in these provinces, identify hotspots in these areas (and in other provinces where they may be identified) and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far,” said Mkhize.

“We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage.”

To date, the country has recorded 25 657 deaths and 811 372 recoveries. Mkhize cautions, however, that the continued rise of active cases now stand at 117 229.

Picture: Twitter / Zweli Mkhize

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