Thursday, 08 October 2020 23:13

File Photo.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that South Africa recorded 686 891 detected COVID-19 cases.

This is an increase of  1 736 new cases identified since the last report.

The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 339 686 with 21 172 new tests conducted since the last report.

A further 160 more COVID-19 related deaths were recorded: 18 from Eastern Cape, 6 from Free State, 105 from KwaZulu Natal, 13 from Gauteng, 6 from Limpopo, 4 from Mpumalanga, and 8 from Western Cape,said Mkhize.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 17 408.

Mkhize said there has been a noticeable increase in the number of deaths recently which caused us concern as they have received reports from the Medical Research Council that there have been no excess deaths for three weeks in a row.

Therefore they have consulted the provinces to ascertain the reason for the increased numbers. They have received reports that the provinces are implementing the recommendations of the MRC to reconcile the data with Home Affairs deaths data. In addition provinces are auditing the deaths data either by mining data from the DATCOV surveillance reports and identifying unreported deaths or auditing the facilities on the ground. The department welcome this robust refinement of data collation as it reassures us that, moving forward, we exercise precision in our epidemiological surveillance.

Mkhize also added that the recoveries now stand at 618 771 which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.

Globally, there have been 35 659 007 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 044 269 deaths reported to the World Health Organisation.

Mkhize, has once against warned against the risk of resurgence.

"The message is there shouldn’t be complacency,” he said during a political lecture in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

He has asked people to focus on the “new normal” of wearing masks, sanitising, social distancing, and cough etiquette especially now that international travel has been opened.

"This has assisted us and therefore it is something we should continue with," Mkhize added.

He also encouraged people to download the COVID Alert SA app so people can be notified if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

He also thanked Cuban doctors and the WHO surge team for their support in fighting the Coronavirus in the country. 

"The tenets of the National Health Insurance could be recognised during COVID-19. There was the pooling of resources and a public-private partnership," Mkhize added.  

"There was also infrastructure development, refurbishment, investment in health and a strong and capable workforce was built."

Mkhize said the fight against the pandemic is a non-partisan campaign, but one that involves everyone in society.

"Behavioural change is the new normal. We must fight stigma and ensure vigilance,"he added.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.