Durban likely to remain at level 5 come May 1, says KZN premier

27 April 2020 - 09:35 By Orrin Singh
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala says eThekwini is likely to remain on level 5 given the metro's high number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala says eThekwini is likely to remain on level 5 given the metro's high number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: KZN government

While many other cities across SA will downgrade to level four on Friday, there is a good chance that eThekwini will not.

KwaZulu-Natal's economic hub has been deemed the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the province with 579 positive cases.

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala gave a provincial breakdown of the cases on Sunday during a media briefing.

He said KZN had contributed nearly 21% of new cases in the country.

“As of the 25th April 2020, KwaZulu-Natal has had 846 confirmed cases, 29 deaths, and 241 recoveries. While there were no [new] deaths reported we remain vigilant in our monitoring and management of the cases.”

Zikalala said another worrying concern was that 121 health care workers had tested positive in the province - up from 108 last week.

He said the government remained concerned at the emerging situation in eThekwini.

“We are still noticing a trend whereby most of our new cases are being registered in eThekwini, which is recording above 10 cases per day. In fact, there is not a single day that eThekwini does not report new cases - unlike other districts, which can go for days without having new cases.”

He said the amount of cases recorded in iLembe District also remained a concern.

“Since the 22nd of April 2020, of the 44 new cases reported, 19 were from eThekwini, and 25 were reported at iLembe.”

The provincial breakdown of positive Covid-19 cases is as follows:

  • Amajuba 8
  • eThekwini 579
  • King Cetshwayo 12
  • Harry Gwala 1
  • iLembe 122
  • Ugu 16
  • uMgungundlovu 49
  • uMkhanyakude 21
  • uMzinyathi 3
  • uThukela 23
  • Zululand 2

Zikalala emphasised that unless there was a “drastic change” in the number of cases coming out of the city, eThekwini would remain under the strict lockdown regulations of level five.

“Last Sunday, we had 383 cases for eThekwini; today we are at 579. All the other four districts have registered one death since the start of the pandemic. So, as things stand, we remain more concerned with the eThekwini situation and what is emerging in iLembe District.”

He attributed the number of cases in Durban to poor management of cases, "particularly in the private sector".

“We have therefore instituted an investigation through the department of health. This investigation must tell us whether this is due to medical reasons or negligence.”

As part of Freedom Day celebrations, Zikalala will embark on engagement with health care and essential service workers in Durban in Monday.


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