1,655 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa, as deaths climb to 11

Minister of health Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday evening that the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 1,655, up 70 from the previous report.

He said that the total number of Covid-19 tests conducted to date is 56,873, up 2,936 from those reported on Saturday.

“It is with sadness that we report yet another two deaths related to Covid-19. This takes the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in South Africa to 11,” the minister said.

Provincial breakdown

Globally, coronavirus cases passed 1.2 million, with deaths topping 66,000, and 253,864 recoveries.

More than 312,000 people in the US have contracted the virus, a quarter of the world total, and more than 8,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump warned that deaths from the coronavirus in the US will escalate over the next one to two weeks, and could be on par with the number of fatalities seen in world wars, Bloomberg reported.

“There’s going to be a very, very deadly period, unfortunately,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday.

The president said that as the number of deaths peak, “I really believe we probably have never seen anything like these kind of numbers, maybe during the war – a world war. A World War I or II or something.”

In The UK cases rose to 47,806 from 41,903 on Saturday. Total deaths were 4,934 versus 4,313, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The country will tighten a nationwide lockdown if needed to halt the spread, health secretary Matt Hancock said, even as pressure builds on the government to explain how it will eventually ease economically devastating measures, Bloomberg reported.

Spain recorded its lowest daily rise in the number of deaths from the virus in percentage terms since early March.

The country has now seen more than 12,000 deaths from the outbreak, the most anywhere in the world apart from Italy.

Follow the law

As South Africa enters the second week of the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, law enforcement agencies have called on communities and various organisations to refrain from taking the law into their own hands to enforce the Disaster Management Regulations.

The NatJOINTS, which comprises of various government departments, is responsible for the coordination of the Covid-19 operations, including high density policing operations, border control, route security and public health infection containment, among others, said the majority of the nation has been adhering to the lockdown regulations.

“However, the call for greater adherence to the regulations comes following the continuous non-adherence to these regulations by certain individuals,” the NatJOINTS said in a statement.

Crime decline

Police minister Bheki Cele meanwhile, has welcomed the dramatic reduction in serious and violent crimes during the lockdown to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Cele said indications were this was due to, among others, the prohibition of the sale and movement of liquor since the nationwide lockdown 10 days ago.

The ministry in the statement said the analysis is based on a preliminary report that is yet to undergo the necessary verification and endorsements.

Analysing the crime and comparing the first week of the lockdown to the same period in 2019, Cele said murder cases had dropped from 326 to 94, while rape cases dropped from 699 to 101.

“Cases of assault with intention to inflict grievous bodily harm, dropped from 2,673 to 456; and trio crimes dropped from 8,853 to 2,098,” he said.

Car/truck hijacking, business robberies, and house robberies, which are collectively grouped as trio crimes, are arguably the most violent crimes where the perpetrators are commonly armed with illegal firearms.

These are the type of crimes that are known to instil fear amongst citizens.

In relation to gender-based violence, minister Cele confirmed that the number of complaints remained high and this was a concern.

“Over 2,300 calls/complaints have been registered since the beginning of the lockdown on 27 March 2020 until 31 March 2020 and from these, 148 suspects were charged,” said Cele.

The figure in relation to calls/complaints between January 2020 and 31 March 2020 stands at 15,924.


Read: South Africa’s lockdown restrictions could last months: report

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1,655 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa, as deaths climb to 11