663 new Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths in SA in biggest single-day jump

08 May 2020 - 22:12 By Matthew Savides
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Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Image: GCIS

SA's confirmed Covid-19 cases increased to 8,895, a single-day increase of 663. There were also 17 new deaths reported, taking the toll to 178.

These were the biggest single-day increases reported since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Of the deaths, nine were from the Western Cape, there were three each in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, and two from KwaZulu-Natal.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize made the figures available in a statement on Friday night. They were based on 15,599 tests.

The deaths did not all take place in the last 24 hours, with the minister stating that there had “been a delay in reporting some of these deaths due to the stringent verification processes we had undertaken”.

“As of May 7 we had 435 patients in hospital, of which 45 were in high care, 77 were in ICU and, of those, 40 were being ventilated. Our hospitalisation rate remains at 5% of all Covid-19 diagnosed patients,” the statement said.

No update was provided on the number of recoveries announced on Wednesday.

Mkhize said there were particular concerns around the Western Cape, which accounted for 76% of new cases in the last 24 hours. The next-worst was the Eastern Cape, with 9% of new cases in the last 24 hours.

On Monday, the Western Cape had a recorded 3,362 cases, but by Friday this had climbed to 4,497 cases — an increase of 1,135.

The Eastern Cape had 814 cases on Monday, and 989 on Friday — an increase of 175.

The two provinces accounted for 1,310 (or 78.2%) of the country's total 1,675 increase in cases between Monday and Friday.

The provincial breakdown of cases on Thursday was provided as:

  • Western Cape — 4,497;
  • Gauteng — 1,851;
  • KwaZulu-Natal — 1, 253;
  • Eastern Cape — 989; 
  • Free State — 133;
  • Mpumalanga — 60;
  • Limpopo — 43;
  • North West — 42; and
  • Northern Cape — 27.

The number of deaths and recoveries were recorded as:

  • Western Cape — 99 deaths, 1,122 recoveries;
  • KwaZulu-Natal — 42 deaths, 420 recoveries;
  • Eastern Cape — 21 deaths, 388 recoveries;
  • Gauteng — 18 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 said visits to the Western Cape and Eastern Cape would begin this weekend.

“We will be embarking on oversight visits to the Eastern Cape and Western Cape this weekend. These will be followed by presidential visits to both provinces later next week. The provinces have recorded the two highest new cases in the past 24 hours with the Western Cape accounting for 76% of new cases and the Eastern Cape accounting for 9% of new cases. In addition, the Western Cape has just over 50% of the Covid-19 burden in SA, recording the highest deaths as well.

“With interprovincial movement between these provinces being an issue, it will be crucial for us to understand the dynamics driving the epidemic in this region and assist where necessary. We know that a lot of good work has been done by the leadership of these provinces. We also acknowledge the commitment and hard work of our health professionals and front-line workers- both in public and private sectors. We look forward to bolstering the efforts already in place to curb further spread of Covid-19,” said Mkhize.


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