100,000 cases of Covid-19 in Gauteng as SA infections rise to 287,796

13 July 2020 - 22:28
By Matthew Savides
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has urged all South Africans to take the coronavirus seriously and adjust their behaviour accordingly.
Image: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has urged all South Africans to take the coronavirus seriously and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Gauteng became the first province in SA to record more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases, as infections across the country were confirmed at 287,796 by Monday night.

There were 11,555 new infections recorded across SA in the past 24 hours, with 5,282 of these in Gauteng. There were also a reported 93 deaths in the same period, taking the national total of fatalities to 4,172.

According to the national health ministry, in terms of the number of infections and deaths:

  • Gauteng now has 103,713 cases and 644 deaths;
  • the Western Cape has 79,344 cases and 2,385 deaths;
  • the Eastern Cape has 52,058 cases and 709 deaths;
  • KwaZulu-Natal has 27,387 cases and 286 deaths;
  • the North West has 10,525 cases and 36 deaths; and
  • the Free State has 5,632 cases and 35 deaths;
  • Mpumalanga has 4,299 cases and 33 deaths;
  • Limpopo has 3,316 cases and 33 deaths;
  • the Northern Cape has 1,522 cases and 11 deaths.

There were also a reported 138,241 recoveries.

The figures are based on a total of 2,194,624 tests, of which 40,233 were done in the past 24-hour cycle.

At a press conference on Monday, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize addressed the situation in Gauteng, noting in particular the fast rise in the number of infections in SA's economic hub.

"The real issue in Gauteng - even before the numbers were higher than those in the Western Cape - was the pattern in which the increase was happening," he said.

"Gauteng moved from a very low number. At the beginning of June, they had about 230 positive patients recorded per day. By the time they got towards the end of the month, they were at 3,000 [to] 4,000 people per day turning out to be positive.

"The sudden increase in a short space of time is what really jacked the system in Gauteng."

Figures from the ministry show that on June 1, Gauteng had 4,231 confirmed cases of Covid-19. By the middle of the month, on June 15, this had nearly tripled to 12,193 cases. By July 1, this had climbed to 45,944 confirmed infections. And in less than two weeks, the 100,000 mark was hit.

Mkhize said the increase in the number of cases, not just in Gauteng but across SA, called for South Africans who weren't taking the virus seriously to start doing so.

"If anyone doubted the aggressiveness of the pandemic, we should be aware that it's time to really wake up and take notice," he said.

"It's spread all over the country. The numbers are growing every day and the hospitals are admitting patients each hour. Some of our loved ones don't even make it to the hospital.

"As it turns out now, many of us have friends, relatives ... who are already affected by this pandemic.

"It is a new, painful reality that we can only curb these viral infections if we as citizens behave. It's a choice we have to make as South Africans - for the sake of our own nation, our own friends, our own selves.

"It is important to indicate that we need everyone to begin to take responsibility and to change behaviour."