SA in top 20 of new daily Covid-19 cases as health officials prepare for battle

29 June 2020 - 13:12 By Unathi Nkanjeni
According to Worldometers, SA stands at number 17 of the highest infection rate among 215 countries currently battling the pandemic.
According to Worldometers, SA stands at number 17 of the highest infection rate among 215 countries currently battling the pandemic.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

As SA battles shortages of oxygen and hospital beds, the country's Covid-19 infection rate continues to rise, pushing it into the top 20 of daily increasing numbers.

According to Worldometers, SA stands at number 17 of the highest infection rate among 215 countries battling the pandemic.

Worldometers is a data source that tracks real-time statistics on several topics, including Covid-19. The numbers vary daily as updates continue to stream in.

On Sunday, SA reached a global milestone after ranking fourth place in the world following new Covid-19 infections.

To date, the country has 138,134 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 2,456 deaths.

On Saturday, SA reported 7,210 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily surge since the virus broke out in early March.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize warned that SA was approaching a surge during the winter months of July and August.

“We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive Covid-19 cases, indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August.

“It is anticipated that while every province will, unfortunately, witness an increase in their numbers, areas where there is high economic activity will experience an exponential rise, beginning with Gauteng and the Western Cape and followed by the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

Oxygen shortage and bed capacity

Mkhize urged industries to prepare for increasing oxygen requirements and demand for ventilators. This after a high demand for oxygen and ventilators in Gauteng and Eastern Cape.

TimesLIVE reported that the Gauteng health department cautioned that as more cases are reported, the number of admissions and bed occupancy rates for critical patients would increase, which puts more pressure on ventilators, oxygen points and oxygen supplies.

In the Eastern Cape, Mkhize said case management has come into the spotlight and that complaints made on social media “have been well noted”.

“We recognise that we have not reached our full bed capacity, and this is an area receiving urgent attention together with the provincial departments, said Mkhize.

“Successful public and private partnerships are paramount so we are very pleased that negotiations with the private sector are now concluded and private facilities are ready to accept public patients.

“We have engaged industries to secure what we need to meet our increasing oxygen requirements, and we are very gratified by the co-operation and willingness of industries to divert oxygen to hospital facilities."

Mkhize said he was confident the country would meet the demand for ventilators.


X