37,525 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 792

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa now has 37,525 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

This is up by 1,713 from the 35,812 infections reported on Tuesday.

The minister reported 37 more deaths, taking the number up to 792, while recoveries increased to 19,682.

A total of 785,979 tests have been conducted to date.

Globally, coronavirus cases topped 6.4 million globally on Wednesday, while deaths have exceeded 382,000, with more than 3 million recoveries.

Sweden’s top epidemiologist says more should have been done in his country to tackle Covid-19 at the start of the outbreak, in order to keep the death rate down, Bloomberg reported.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Anders Tegnell said in an interview with Swedish Radio.

Tegnell is the brains behind Sweden’s controversial approach to fighting the virus, and the government of Stefan Lofven has deferred to the epidemiologist in its official response to the pandemic. At 43 deaths per 100,000, Sweden’s death rate is among the highest globally.

Unconstitutional and invalid

The Gauteng High court declared that the country’s alert level 3 and alert level 4 lockdown regulations are invalid and unconstitutional.

The High Court suspended the declaration of invalidity of the regulations for 14 days, meaning that the level 3 regulations remain in effect for now.

In its ruling, the court specifically highlighted how the regulations did not pass the rationality test and have infringed on the Bill of Rights.

“Insofar as the lockdown regulations do not satisfy the rationality test, their encroachment on and limitation of rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights contained in the Constitution are not justifiable in an open democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom as contemplated in Section 36 of the Constitution,” said Judge Norman Davis.

The court has now directed the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in consultation with other ministers, to amend, review, and republish the regulations.

This must be done with due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

Cabinet said it will make a further statement once it has fully studied the judgment.

The two levels are part of five that government introduced in an effort to gradually reopen the economy after the pandemic saw various sectors closed as a measure to curb the spread of the virus.

Read: Double-blow for South Africa’s lockdown rules

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37,525 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 792