South Africa now has 1 380 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections.
This is an increase of 27 new cases from Tuesday’s figures as announced by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Mkhize said more than 47 000 tests had been undertaken, but he bemoaned this was ‘too few’ given the size of the South African population.
He has warned that local transmissions are on the rise as government rolls out heightened mobile testing efforts. He said government’s efforts had so far been reactive, but he said government would not be going into communities to test on the ‘offence’.
He also said there was a number of townships around the country which had confirmed cases, which had government concerned.
He also said government had approached President Cyril Ramaphosa to approach China and Cuba to see if they could assist in efforts to combat the spread of the virus in South Africa.
Mkhize launched mobile units which will be used for Covid-19 sampling and testing.
“In light of the increasing incidence of COVID-19 local transmissions, it has become necessary to scale up the capacity of testing citizens across the country. To this end The National Health Laboratory service has procured 60 mobile sampling and testing units to be deployed nationwide to all districts and metropolitan municipalities,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) said.
The mobile units are being rolled out as apart of a mass screening and testing initiative announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week.
“Around 10,000 field workers will be visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen residents for Covid-19 symptoms. People with symptoms will be referred to local clinics or mobile clinics for testing.
“People who are infected with coronavirus but who have no or moderate symptoms will remain in isolation at home or at a facility provided by the government and those with severe symptoms will be transferred to hospitals,” Ramaphosa said in a televised speech on Monday.
While the president’s announcement has been welcomed by a number of opposition parties, the North West-based Forum 4 Service Delivery has expressed concern that 10 000 field workers would not be enough for the mammoth task.
Globally, more than 42 000 people have died from Covid-19 and more than 851 000 infections have been reported in over 200 countries.
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Source – IOL