- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has addressed the nation as the number of coronavirus cases rose above the 2 000 mark
- The number of Covid-19 related deaths has also increased, with Mkhize noting 24 fatalities in total
- But Mkhize has indicated there is reason to believe that South Africa has indeed managed to make progress against the pandemic
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 2 003.
The number of deaths related to the virus has risen to 24 fatalities, but the minister had expressed optimism that South Africa may on the right path
“The unity that has been shown during this time has begun to show green shoots. It is possible that we may be able to buck the trend and chart our own path.”
To date, 70 000 tests have been carried out and 410 people have managed to recover thanks to the heroic fight of health care workers.
Mkhize sent his condolence to the families of the deceased, highlighting that with the exception of two cases, the remaining fatalities were patients aged 63 and older.
The minister thanked the World Health Organisation for assisting in the battle against the virus:
"There is a lot of good lessons in the way China has dealt with it. The leadership of WHO needs to be commended. We want to say that we support the Director General of WHO for the leadership they have given."
Citizens were urged to remain positive despite the circumstances and continue to play a role in the fightback effort:
“We have now parted ways with the countries with rapid spread. For South Africans let’s be ambitious and say together we want to part ways with the trends of the West and Europe. I’m not saying we are there, but let’s try as South Africans to unite and follow the leadership.”
While he attempted to provide some good news amid the crisis, the minister was cautious to remind people of the fragility of the situation:
“One person can change the trend of infection. Internal transmission is slowed due to the lockdown, but when we open those pockets that’s when the problem will come, so we will anticipate a few more peaks in South Africa."
Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced a two-week extension in the lockdown period on Thursday evening.
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