40,792 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 848

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa now has 40,792 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

This is up by 3,267 from the 37,525 infections reported on Wednesday, when the country reported 1,713 new cases.

The minister reported 56 more deaths, taking the number up to 848, while recoveries increased to 21,311 which translates to a recovery rate of 52.24%.

A total 820,675 of tests have been conducted to date.

Globally, coronavirus cases topped 6.5 million globally on Thursday, while deaths have exceeded 388,000, with more than 3.2 million recoveries.

As many as 45% of people who contract the virus don’t show any symptoms, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Scripps Research Translational Institute reviewed studies of 16 different populations infected with the new coronavirus and examined how many showed no signs of illness. They concluded that asymptomatic people may account for 40% to 45% of infections.

They also found that those individuals can transmit the virus to others for an extended period, perhaps longer than 14 days.

Winter is coming

Energy group Eskom has outlined its plans for winter load shedding, based on current usage and trajectories.

Presenting to parliament on Wednesday (3 June), chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter said that the coronavirus lockdown has led to a direct decline in electricity usage in the country.

He added that there has been a clear increase in electricity usage since the move to level 4 lockdown.

De Ruyter said that the lockdown also provided Eskom with an opportunity to conduct maintenance on its plants, with the power utility’s new base scenario shifting from an envisaged 31 days of stage 1 load shedding to just three days during the winter period.

However, De Ruyter stressed that Eskom’s systems are still unpredictable.

“It is important to recognise that due to the unreliability and unpredictability of the system, the risk of load shedding remains,” he said.

“This will be the reality until after the 18 months of reliability maintenance, which will last until August 2021.”

Read: Why government can appeal the High Court’s lockdown ruling

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40,792 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 848