Covid-19 update: Mutation found, experts warn of higher SA death toll

Covid-19 update: Mutation found, experts warn of higher SA death toll

A new strain of Covid-19 has been found in Indonesia, while SA experts hunt down the real death toll amid the pandemic. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

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Researchers have confirmed that a new highly infectious mutation of the virus has been found in Indonesia.

Back home, experts are adamant that the death toll in relation to Covid-19 is far higher than the government's statistics.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic:

Covid-19 update: Mutation found, experts warn of higher SA death toll

A woman gets tested for Covid-19. Image: GCIS/ Flickr
Source: UGC

1. New Covid-19 mutation found in Indonesia

A mutation of the coronavirus has been found in Indonesia and is deemed more infectious than the original strain. Researchers have been unable to determine how many positive cases in the region, which has seen a surge in infections, carry this new mutation.

The D614G mutation is said to be highly infectious but milder, according to the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, which added that more study is required on the matter.

Reuters reports that Syahrizal Syarif, a local epidemiologist, has warned the nation that citizens must remain vigilant as modelling predicts a caseload of 500 000 by the end of 2020:

"The situation is serious. Local transmission is out of control."

The region's health ministry recorded 2 858 new infections on Sunday, lower than the previous day's record-breaking 3 308.

News24 reports that the World Health Organization had identified the strain in February with infections noted in Europe, America and also nearby Singapore and Malaysia.

READ ALSO: Elderly pensioner arrested by Hawks: R4.7 million UIF TERS fraud

2. Scientists put pressure on government over Covid-19 death toll

Scientists are hard at work researching the true death toll during the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of excess deaths during the crisis hints that South Africa has suffered far more fatalities than currently recorded.

Experts are adamant that the unusually high number of citizens dying during the pandemic is a sign that the death toll is far higher than the figures handed over by the state.

Researchers have urged the government to fast-track the processing of death notifications in a bid to determine what the real death toll in relation to the virus is, reports News24.

The government recently announced that citizens who died of natural causes during the pandemic should be tested for Covid-19 in an effort to remedy this issue.

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa agrees to ANC probe on R400 million CR17 campaign funds

3. Mkhize provides latest Covid-19 statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided SA with the latest statistics in the continued battle against Covid-19.

In a statement issued by the Ministry on Sunday evening, Mkhize confirmed the latest increase in cases:

"As of today, a cumulative total of 625 056 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded with 2 505 new cases identified."

In addition to the new infections, Mkhize confirmed the latest number of fatalities recorded:

"Regrettably, we report 47 more Covid-19 related deaths: 3 from KwaZulu-Natal, 16 from Gauteng, 7 from Eastern Cape, 7 from Western Cape, 3 from Free State and 11 from Mpumalanga. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 14 028."

The minister reported that 538 604 patients have recovered from Covid-19 with the nation's recovery rate standing at 86%.

Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa intends to lead by example after confronting corruption in the ANC.

Ramaphosa has presented himself to the party's Integrity Committee to explain R400 million in donations to his CR17 presidential campaign.

This comes after ANC members called for his removal after a bombshell open letter addressed to the ruling party on graft within its ranks.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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