Saturday, 18 July 2020 21:33

Photo Credit:GCIS.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced a cumulative total of 350 879 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa.

This is an increase of 13,285 cases from the 337,594 infections reported on Friday.

A further 144 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 4948. The number of recoveries currently stands at 182 230, which translates to a recovery rate of 52%

The total number of tests conducted to date is 2,422,741 with 49,688 new tests conducted since the last report on Friday.

Mkhize has reiterated his plea for all South Africans to take the lockdown as well as the measures implemented by government to fight the spread of Covid-19 seriously.

Every single South African now needs to focus on adhering to recommendations pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions.

We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging. 

We see poor or no social distancing in communities. Masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is laxity setting in around frequent hand-washing.

This will directly influence the rise in numbers in the next two weeks. 

More than 14 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while more than 7.8 million have recovered and more than 600,000 have died, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 237,743 in 24 hours.

Meanwhile United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said coronavirus has revealed the "fragile skeleton" of societies and could push 100 million people into extreme poverty.

Speaking on the 102nd birthday anniversary of the late Nelson Mandela - South Africa's first black president - Guterres said coronavirus was "shining a spotlight" on global injustice.

"We have been brought to our knees - by a microscopic virus. The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world."

"Entire regions that were making progress on eradicating poverty and narrowing inequality have been set back years, in a matter of months," he warned at a virtual memorial lecture organised by the Johannesburg-based Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Coronavirus is an "x-ray" that has revealed "fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built", he added, citing unequal healthcare provision, unpaid care work, income disparity and climate change as some of the concerns.

He said the world's 26 richest people hold as much wealth as half the global population.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.