- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize recently noted that the current number of coronavirus cases is lower than originally predicted
- However, Mkhize warned that the impact of the virus is likely to intensify this week
- In addition to this, the minister says he expected the mortality rate to also rise
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned South Africans not to relax when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during a media briefing on Wednesday, Mkhize revealed that he expects the situation to intensify this week.
Along with the increase in positive cases, the minister expects the mortality rate to rise as well.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhize had explained the current number of infections, 1 380 on Wednesday, was far below the original predictions.
At this stage of the pandemic, experts had anticipated around 4 000 to 6 000 positive cases, far higher than the actual figures:
"There’s a team currently working on the model. In terms of those figures they would’ve anticipated as at 2 April we could be around 4 000-6 000, but if there was no lockdown the number would’ve been higher. You see it is early days so the model is bound to be distorted."
Mkhize lauded this slump in the statistics to a number of government interventions in response to the crisis:
"I ascribe this reduction in the rate of increase due to: closing the borders, enforcing a quarantine on inbound travellers, the lockdown has slowed internal transmission by reducing the spread during large gatherings and overcrowded transport routes, for example trains, buses and taxis."
The minister promised South Africans that the work to prevent the worst from happening will continue despite the lull:
"Right now we don’t have a crisis. So we are preparing and focusing on what might go wrong. Whilst looking into the future we must not confuse you into thinking that the worst is actually going to happen. We need to have a balance."
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