48,285 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 998

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that South Africa now has 48,285 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

This is up by 2,312 from the 45,973 infections on Saturday, when the country reported 2,539 new cases.

The minister announced 46 new deaths, taking the total up to 998, while recoveries increased to 24,364, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.5%.

Dr Mkhize also announced the first death in Mpumalanga, while the Western Cape reported a further 45 deaths over the past 24 hours.

A total of  920,064 tests have been conducted to date, of which 28,395 tests have been conducted over the past 24-hour period.

Globally, coronavirus cases topped 7 million globally on Sunday, while deaths have exceeded 402,000, with more than 3.4 million recoveries.

The UK needs a plan to deal with a potential second wave of Covid-19 infections, NHS staff and public health experts told the Observer.

Even though the number of new cases is declining, they’re still high, the experts said. The UK has the highest death toll after the US at more than 40,500, Bloomberg reported.

More than half of deaths may occur in nursing homes, the newspaper reported in a separate article. In an editorial, the paper backed calls for a public inquiry into the government’s response to the crisis.

Virus spread

Medical experts warn that Covid-19 cases are expected to spike in South Africa’s most populous provinces in the coming weeks, following record daily increases in recent days.

Speaking to the City Press, professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Shabir Madhi said that the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Western Cape should brace for a surge of new cases – particularly the Eastern Cape.

He said that the province will likely reach the Western Cape’s level of spread – in terms of a surge in cases – in two weeks’ time, while Gauteng will reach that level in four weeks.

The Western Cape, which has exhibited an alarming pattern in spread over the last two months, will be three times worse than it currently is, professor Madhi said.

While the professor did not give any specific prediction for KwaZulu-Natal, health MEC in province, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has given similar warnings about expecting a surge in cases in the province.

The province has planned ahead for this, hiring 8,000 new health workers, and finding areas to use as field hospitals and quarantine zones.

South Africa this week recorded its biggest-ever jump in daily cases, with a record 3,267 cases reported on 4 June. Since then, the country has seen over 2,000 daily increases in infections.

The Western Cape accounts for 66% of all Covid-19 cases, and 75% of all deaths.

Read: Covid-19 surge to hit Gauteng, KZN and the Eastern Cape: report

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48,285 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths jump to 998