Monday, 13 April 2020
Kwazulu Natal: The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa rose to 2 272 on Monday, with two more deaths confirmed by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The positive tests are an increase of 99 from the previous day. Total deaths stood at 27 on Monday.
During a technical public engagement with experts dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Mkhize said the country has conducted 83 363 tests since the outbreak. Of these, 21 190 had been done in public sector facilities.
Regarding deaths, Mkhize said the first case was of a 68-year-old male in the Western Cape while the second was that of a 57-year-old male from Gauteng.
The Minister said the Gauteng death had raised alarm as the patient had not displayed underlying diseases and only displayed respiratory destress when he was admitted.
“His chest x-rays showed some changes which were suggestive of COVID-19 and was found to be positive. While in the ICU his condition took a turn for the worse and unfortunately we lost him. We do not have a record of any underlying diseases,” said Mkhize.
The Minister said the 68-year-old was admitted with acute respiratory destress and hypoxia with underlying concomitant diseases of diabetes, hypertension and chronic renal disease.
He said this has been the pattern with most cases.
Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government would roll out a mass COVID-19 public screening and testing programme.
“We’ve managed to mass screen 438 815 people in the country. It’s early days but that’s where we are right now,” he said.
Out of these, 4537 people have been referred for testing in various government testing facilities.
Mkhize said the Department of Health had identified 11 406 contacts of those who had tested positive.
“Of those, 9 075 of those have been identified and interviewed and processed accordingly,” he said.
Government, he said, had deployed an army of 10 654 tracers who are on the ground in an attempt to make as much contact as possible.
He expressed condolences to the families of the deceased.
During the briefing, the Minister clarified that statistics are released after a rigorous calculation process.