Extending lockdown would not delay South Africa’s coronavirus peak by much: Mkhize

A total of 511 healthcare workers in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19), says Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Addressing the media in Rustenburg on Wednesday at Job Shimakana Tabane Hospital, the minister said of those who have tested positive for Covid-19, 149 have recovered, 26 were hospitalised and two have lost their lives.

Mkhize, together with the minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, received personal protective equipment (PPE) from Sibanye-Stillwater and Old Mutual.

The donation from Sibanye-Stillwater is part of the mining sector’s support in containing the spread of Covid-19.

“All mine workers must be screened. It is more helpful to be proactive. We can save staff and the whole mine if we screen miners. We encourage all mining companies to work with the provincial government on this,” Mkhize said.

The Minister noted the increase in the number of people testing positive for the virus.

“We have seen the numbers increasing. We said that many of us will get the infection. Our role has been to slow down the rate at which the infection gets to us.

“In terms of our scientific focus, we were able to push the peak. If we were to prolong the lockdown, it would not have delayed the peak substantially. We can now spot where the problems are coming from. We have learned lessons from other countries and we have an advantage,” the minister said.

As of Tuesday (5 May) South Africa had a total of 7,572 COVID-19 cases and 148 deaths.

Read: Companies need certificates to operate during South Africa’s level 4 lockdown

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Extending lockdown would not delay South Africa’s coronavirus peak by much: Mkhize