424 new Covid-19 cases in SA as total passes 8,000
There was another big jump in the number of Covid-19 cases in SA, as confirmed cases passed 8,000.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday that there were 424 new cases of the respiratory illness, taking the national total to 8,232. The new figures were based on 12,774 tests.
There were also eight more deaths reported, taking the national toll to 161. Six of the new deaths were in the Western Cape and two in KwaZulu-Natal.
On Wednesday, Mkhize said that the death toll was at 153 and that there were 7,808 confirmed cases countrywide.
No update was provided to the numbers of recoveries announced on Wednesday.
The provincial breakdown of cases on Thursday was provided as:
- Western Cape - 3,994;
- Gauteng - 1,804;
- KZN - 1,204;
- Eastern Cape - 929;
- Free State - 134;
- Mpumalanga - 59;
- Limpopo - 41;
- North West 40- ; and
- Northern Cape - 27.
The number of deaths and recoveries were recorded as:
- Western Cape - 79 deaths, 1,122 recoveries;
- KwaZulu-Natal - 40 deaths, 420 recoveries;
- Eastern Cape - 18 deaths, 388 recoveries;
- Gauteng - 15 deaths, 1,036 recoveries;
- Free State - 6 deaths, 102 recoveries;
- Limpopo - 3 deaths, 27 recoveries;
- Mpumalanga - 0 deaths, 22 recoveries;
- North West - 0 deaths, 20 recoveries; and
- Northern Cape - 0 deaths, 16 recoveries.
Mkhize was speaking at a briefing on Thursday night where Ithuba Holdings was handing over 100,000 reusable face masks. Police officers were among those receiving the masks, which are emblazoned with the SAPS logo and the word “police”.
At the briefing, police minister Bheki Cele said that 205 members of SAPS had contracted Covid-19.
“174 of them are from the Western Cape, and the rest from the rest of the country. We are not immune to the challenges that are there,” he said.
Cele added that the donation of the masks "helps a lot".
"I go to a lot of roadblocks. Sometimes these [masks] become wet because members are sweating there, working. Some people [being stopped] say, 'Don’t come too close to me' and all that.
"About two days ago, police wanted to arrest someone. They told him to go to the van but he refused. They [police] had to push him to the van and he said that he was going to charge the police for breaking social distancing rules," he said, in a lighthearted moment.