- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that coronavirus cases in South Africa have risen to 202
- This comes after the minister accurately predicted that the numbers would increase to over 200 ahead of the weekend
- Mkhize urged citizens not to fear the pandemic but to take action against it to limit its impact
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in SA has reached 202.
Speaking during a media briefing in the Free State, Mkhize urged citizens not to panic or fear the virus.
Instead, the minister called upon society to heed the call to practice social distancing and good hygiene habits.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhize had accurately predicted the increase, warning citizens that the virus could affect between 60% and 70% of the population in South Africa.
Explaining this during the briefing, Mkhize said this would not happen all at the same time:
"Leaders in society must not fear the virus but we need to be realistic about it. Scientists estimate that 60% of the population will be affected by the virus at some point, but not all at the same time."
Mkhize revealed that one of the positive cases is a Free State mother of two who works in a private hospital:
"One of the positive cases in Free State is a mother of two, who is a health worker. Because of the work she does in a private hospital, the government has identified the number of patients she looked after and they too will be screened."
The minister called on South Africa to mobilise against the rise in infections:
"We must mobilise to fight infections. We must flatten the curve. Simple hygiene is key in fighting Covid-19. Please heed the call to follow precautionary measures."
Mkhize warned that, unless citizens take action, the virus could potentially overwhelm the health system:
"It is not with testing one patient that the virus will be prevented, the numbers of people who have got the infection must not rise so rapidly that it will overwhelm our health system."
Despite the efforts to combat the pandemic, Mkhize explained that it will be in the country for the long haul:
"The virus is going to be with us for quite a while, it will be one of those viruses that our bodies will have to build new immunities to face."
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