Friday, 09 October 2020 22:27

 

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that South Africa has recorded 688 532 detected COVID-19 cases.

This is an increase of  1 641 new cases identified since the last report.

The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 360 105 with 20 419 new tests conducted since the last report.

A further 139 more COVID-19 related deaths were recorded: 23 from Eastern Cape, 3 from the Free State, 65 from KwaZulu Natal, 28 from Gauteng, 4 from Limpopo, 7 from North West, 4 from Northern Cape and 5 from Western Cape,said Mkhize.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 17 547.

Mkhize added that the recoveries now stand at 620 081 which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.

Meanwhile Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection will be rolled out to all ports of entry in South Africa with immediate effect.

The purpose of the rollout is to effect the provisions of the level 1 travel regulations, which stipulate that all travellers who arrive at a port of entry without a certified negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result (not older than 72 hours) must be tested at the point of entry before entering the country.

Antigen tests (different from antibody tests) are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection.

The advantage of the antigen test is that, unlike the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, the results are available in 15 minutes.

In consideration of the logistical complications that a point of entry PCR test poses and the additional mitigation measures in place, Cabinet resolved to implement testing at points of entry using the antigen test.

Government is also aware that some of the neighbouring countries, for example Lesotho, do not have the capacity to conduct PCR testing for all travellers destined for South Africa.

Antigen testing will therefore enable the management of the influx of travellers without certified PCR tests timeously.

Citizens and visitors are also encouraged to download the COVID-Alert App which is safe, secure and user friendly.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.