Monday, 14 December 2020

Pretoria: The total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases now sit at 866 127 after 5 163 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Monday.

The Western Cape has the highest number of active cases at 25 571, followed by KwaZulu-Natal 19 220, Eastern Cape 17 176 and Gauteng 9 428.

Free State has 4 098 active cases, Northern Cape 1 913, North West 1 240, Mpumalanga 648 and Limpopo 636.

Meanwhile, 175 more COVID-19 associated deaths were confirmed, pushing the tally to 23 451 since the outbreak.

The Eastern Cape recorded the highest number of casualties after 93 people lost their lives, while 32 fatalities were recorded in the Western Cape, 20 in the Eastern Cape and 16 in Free State.

KwaZulu-Natal and the North West both recorded five fatalities each, while Gauteng reported only four deaths.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health workers that treated the deceased,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

According to Mkhize, 5 884 227 tests have been completed of which 25 049 were performed since the last reporting cycle.

Also, the recoveries now stand at 762 746.

Addressing the nation on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the daily average of new cases nationally over the last seven days is 74% higher.

“In this time, the number of new cases has increased from a daily average of around 3 800 to just over 6 600 a day,” he said.

In addition, the daily average of COVID-19 deaths has peaked by nearly 50% over the same period from just over 100 deaths a day to over 150 deaths.

The four provinces that are leading the second wave are Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Sarah Baartman and the Garden Route districts have now been officially declared as hotspots.

“This all means that the same additional restrictions that we applied to Nelson Mandela Bay will apply in these districts from midnight tonight and will continue until we see a clear and sustained decline in infections,” he said on Monday.

President Ramaphosa also announced that over 38 000 health workers in the public sector have tested positive for COVID-19, while close to 5 000 were admitted to hospital.

“Sadly, 391 health workers in the public sector have passed away.”

The President has since introduced stricter restrictions on beaches and parks; restaurants will now close at 10pm, while alcohol will now be sold from Monday to Thursday between 10am and 6pm.

Meanwhile, the curfew has been extended, starting at 11pm and ending at 4am.

The President has called on everyone to play their part and follow the basic precautions during the festive season.

He said all gatherings must include adequate ventilation, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of hand-sanitiser.

Globally, the World Health Organisation is reporting 71 051 805 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 608 648 deaths.