Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 187,977 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.
This is an increase of 10,853 cases from the 177,124 cases reported on Friday – and a new 24-hour high for the country.
The minister announced 74 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 3,026 casualties and 91.227 recoveries to date.
A total of 1.79 million tests have been conducted, with 46,925 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.
As of today, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 187 977, the total number of deaths is 3026 and the total number of recoveries is 91 227. pic.twitter.com/l0JeXuwJ4l
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) July 4, 2020
Globally since 31 December 2019 and as of 4 July 2020, in excess of 11.2 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, with 529,000 deaths, with 6.35 million recoveries.
Bloomberg reported that the novel coronavirus is showing some signs of mutating in a way that may make it easier for the pathogen to spread, citing Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
There is research underway that suggests a single mutation affecting a specific amino acid is emerging that allows the virus to replicate better and create a higher viral load, measures that could make it easier to transmit, Fauci said at an online event hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
No hard lockdown
With government trying to strike a delicate balance between the loss of lives and saving jobs, president Cyril Ramaphosa says government is not considering returning to a hard lockdown.
The President clarified government’s stance during his oversight visit to Mpumalanga on Friday where he assessed the province’s state of readiness for the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Another hard lockdown is not being considered for now, the issue of jobs lost concerns us. Other countries are experiencing even bigger losses. We are developing various other ways of responding to this,” said the President.
The exponential increase in Covid-19 cases ignited fierce debate across society with a hard lockdown proposed as a measure to curb the country’s rising infections.
President Ramaphosa said government would rather consider other options in the “toolbox” in fighting the pandemic.