The Department of Health has announced that there are 80 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.
This brings the total for the country to 1,585 cases with 53,937 tests conducted as of Saturday (4 April). The current death toll stands at nine people.
The country recorded two more deaths on Friday as the government continues to fight Covid-19 which has infected more than 1.1 million people worldwide.
The two new deaths include an 81-year-old female and an 80-year-old man – both from KwaZulu-Natal – and have no history of travelling anywhere – abroad or locally. The Minister said there were two more suspected Covid-19 related deaths that were yet to be confirmed.
While the government is working tirelessly to flatten the curve, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said he was still concerned that the numbers are “slowly” increasing.
“We’re sad at the passing of these particular individuals,” Mkhize said.
The relatively low number of new cases was due to limitations of the reactive testing that will soon change, he said. “We’re at the point [where] we need to scale up the testing,” he stressed.
He is optimistic that the country will put a big dent on reducing the number of infections as lockdown continues. South Africa has also reduced the number of visitors, airlines and closed the ports and quarantined those who have been to areas of the epicentre of the pandemic, especially from the Western countries.
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) April 4, 2020
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic exceeded 60,000 globally, while New York State reported its deadliest day, Bloomberg reported. Spain meanwhile, said it will extend its state of emergency after cases surpassed those in Italy.
US deaths rose to more than 7,000 as health officials recommended wearing cloth masks to prevent the virus’s spread. At least a half-dozen cruise ships remain at sea with passengers and crew as companies navigate long trips and struggle to find ports willing to let them dock.
New York, the worst-hit US state, recorded its deadliest day as the toll rose to 3,565, including 2,624 deaths in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters. A shipment of 1,000 ventilators from China is arriving the city on Saturday.
“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said.
The UK reported its deadliest day yet, with an increase of 708 coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 4,313. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, 41,903 people have tested positive for the virus.
Small business register for help
Over 81,000 Covid-19-hit small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) have already registered to be on the SMME SA database.
Applications on the SMME SA database were opened on Thursday at 09h00, said Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, during a ministerial press briefing on Friday.
Similarly, the department on 2 April opened applications for the Debt Relief Fund and Business Growth Facility in the area of debt relief and business growth facility.
“Since the opening of the applications we have received over 2,000 applications and we are receiving messages from people who are saying they have applied…
“We want to clarify to SMMEs out there that registering on the database does not translate to you applying. We want to ascertain that you are indeed an operating business and not a shelf company,” she said.