7,808 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 153

 ·6 May 2020

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 7,808 positive Covid-19 cases in South Africa.

This is up by 236 from the 7,572 Covid-19 cases announced on Tuesday.

Dr Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday (6 May), that the total number of deaths have increased by five, to 153, while the recoveries have now increased to 3,153.

A total of 279,379 tests have been conducted to date, with 11,315 conducted over the past 24 hours.

Globally, coronavirus cases moved past 3.75 million, with deaths at nearly 260,000, and 1.25 million recoveries.

China’s ambassador to Washington called for an end to the “blame game” over the coronavirus, in the country’s most high-profile response since US president Donald Trump escalated his criticism of Beijing, Bloomberg reported.

Ambassador Cui Tiankai said in a column published in the Washington Post that allegations blaming China for the outbreak’s spread risked “decoupling” the world’s two largest economies. Increased suspicions also threatened to hurt US-China cooperation to fight the disease and restart the global economy.

“It is time to end the blame game,” Cui said. “It is time to focus on the disease and rebuild trust between our two countries.”

It comes after China fired back at US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, saying he has no evidence to back up claims that Covid-19 escaped from a lab in the central city of Wuhan.

The US attacks on China are part of a strategy by president Donald Trump’s Republican Party ahead of an election later this year, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday. She said any discussion about the origin of the virus should be handled by scientists and not politicians.

Pompeo on Sunday claimed there is “enormous evidence” that the virus escaped from a high-security virology laboratory near the first known outbreak in Wuhan. He has advanced the theory despite Chinese denials and a lack of consensus among US intelligence agencies examining the virus’s origins.

Health care workers

A total of 511 healthcare workers in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, said minister of health, Dr Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday.

Addressing the media in Rustenburg on Wednesday at Job Shimankana 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.

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

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