45,973 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 952

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa now has 45,973 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

This is up by 2,539 from the 43,434 infections on Friday, when the country reported 2,642 new cases.

The minister announced 44 new deaths, taking the total up to 952, while recoveries increased to 24,258, which translates to a recovery rate of  52.8%.

A total of  850,871 tests have been conducted to date, of which 30,196 have been conducted over the past 24-hour period.

Globally, coronavirus cases topped 6.85 million globally on Saturday, while deaths have exceeded 398,000, with more than 3.37 million recoveries.

A startling number of Americans are using bleach on food or misusing household cleaners in attempts to protect themselves from the coronavirus, according to a survey published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An internet panel of 500 people found more than one-third of respondents “engaging in non-recommended high-risk practices” such as applying the cleaners to the skin or inhaling or ingesting them, Bloomberg reported.

The report doesn’t directly reference President Donald Trump’s widely denounced suggestion on April 23 that researchers should study using light or disinfectants on humans as potential interventions against the virus.

‘We’re at war’

The Western Cape’s staffing and money shortages will be prioritised as a matter of urgency, as government attempts to deal with an upsurge of Covid-19 infections in the province, president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

The president said the lack of money cannot stand in the way of saving lives.

“The staffing challenges must be solved. We’re at war. We’re fighting a life and death war and staffing challenges must be solved.

“We must headhunt and find all those staff members that we need to bring in and the cost is not an issue here, but saving lives is the issue,” the president said.

“We have to find the [health workers] and money is not going to be an issue. We must pull out all the stops to save lives,” said President Ramaphosa.

The Department of Defence and Military Veterans, the president said, is ready to bring in personnel to lend a hand.

“We must also find staff members in various other provinces and health minister [Dr Zweli] Mkhize will make sure they are identified and are brought here.”

The province constitutes 77% of the deaths reported in the country and there are not enough beds as the number of infections is still expected to peak.

“The beds must be increased. It’s better to over-provide, rather than to under-provide because the worst is still to come.

“Because we’re at war, we should never be found wanting,” the president warned.

While he was pleased with some of the progress made, he raised serious concern on the province’s contact tracing strategy.

“It’s when we upscale our contact tracing that we’ll be able to follow through on all those who are infected,” he said, urging the province to speed up its testing.

Read: Here’s how much of your income goes to servicing debt each month in South Africa

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45,973 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 952