- Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said the coronavirus is spreading slower than they had expected
- Mkhize, however, warned that winter could change the "dynamics entirely"
- Five people have succumbed to the virus so far and 1 353 have been infected
The deadly coronavirus is spreading slower than predicted in South Africa, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said.
Five people have succumbed to the virus and 1 353 have been confirmed to be infected in the country.
Mkhize said the spread of the virus was not as rapid as government had expected.
"Looking at the trend we are seeing of the day-to-day new infections, we are cautiously optimistic that we may not see the numbers rising as high as we had initially projected."
The minister, however, warned that winter could change the "dynamics entirely".
"We should, however, bear in mind that we are approaching winter which could change the dynamics entirely. Be that as it may, it is clear from looking at other successful countries that we, as South Africa, can make a real impact and flatten the curve if we continue to observe the regulations that have been set up by government."
Mkhize encouraged the citizens to continue to stay at home and observe good hygienic practices and work together with government.
"This way we have a real chance of containing the spread of Covid-19."
The minister reportedly said on Tuesday that despite huge backlogs at lab services, 39 500 tests had been conducted as the country observed the fifth day of the 21-day lockdown.
The aim of the lockdown is to curb the spread of the disease.
According to AFP, Mkhize said:
"The rate of increase is not as high as anticipated. We are observing the trend. We anticipated 4 000-5 000 but we haven't reached that."
Mkhize said a large part of the lower than expected infection numbers was due to the closure of ports of entry, saying up to last week 70 percent of positive cases were passengers coming into the country, AFP reports.
Briefly.co.za has reported that South Africa has lost the life of an influential, decorated and celebrated scientist, Professor Gita Ramjee after she contracted the coronavirus.
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