Coronavirus: Mkhize predicts over half the country will contract virus

Coronavirus: Mkhize predicts over half the country will contract virus

- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has revealed grim expectations for South Africa

- In the midst of a national disaster, the minister revealed estimates for the spread of the coronavirus predict a dire situation

- Mkhize estimates that over half the population, between 60% and 70%, is expected to contract the virus

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says he believes the number of coronavirus cases will rise above 200 on Friday.

This comes after the minister revealed he estimates around 60% to 70% of South Africans will contract the virus.

News24 reports that Mkhize predicts that 20% of these cases will be serious cases, with the minister laying out his predictions while speaking to doctors in Pretoria.

Mkhize noted that thousands of citizens would require testing every day, with current capacity at around 5 000 tests daily.

However, this capacity is expected to increase to 15 000 by as soon as next week and again to over 30 000 by mid-April.

The minister says the government would need to go into poorer communities in order to monitor the situation and provide testing, this is set to limit medical costs.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: President Ramaphosa announces 150 confirmed cases in SA :

Issues raised during the Q&A session included primary healthcare facilities battling to keep up with the number of tests being requested.

Employers have been reportedly refusing employees to return to work without first having tested for the virus.

Medical practitioners have reported a lack of protective clothing amid the outbreak, putting those who aid citizens at risk of contracting the disease. reported that a slew of new regulations has been put into place to help limit the spread of the virus by the state.

This included regulations concerning the spread of fake news, refusing treatment and rules governing restaurants, bars and other establishments.

COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma revealed that the school holidays may well be extended in a bid to protect children from contracting the virus.

Visits to prisons have been suspended and cruise liners have been totally banned from leaving and entering South Africa.

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