Tuesday, 12 January 2021 21:32

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Tuesday that 13 105 new cases have been identified since the last report bringing the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa to 1 259 748.

Gauteng is leading with a total of 341 460 cases which is 27.1% of the total number of cases.

Mkhize said a further 755 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 134 , Free State 26, Gauteng 225, Kwa-Zulu Natal 218, Limpopo 11, Mpumalanga 11, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 128.

This brings the total to 34 334 deaths.

Mkhize added that the number of recoveries now stand at 1 019 123, representing a recovery rate of 81%.

Meanwhile Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that South Africa is unlikely to review its lockdown restrictions until it sees a decline in active Covid-19 cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa moved to South Africa to an adjusted level 3 lockdown at the end of December, with the aim of reviewing the regulations by 15 January.

However, the latest extended level 3 lockdown – announced by the president on Monday evening (11 January) – has not been given a review date.

"(These restrictions) will only be reviewed once we have passed the Covid-19 peak and when the numbers have declined sufficiently and not to take us to another wave, "Dlamini-Zuma said in a media briefing on Tuesday.

The minister said that the latest extension and restrictions are being introduced with consideration for both balancing the opening of the economy and saving lives.

She added that it was not the goal of the government to arrest or punish citizens and asked that people to follow the regulations so that they do not face possible fines or imprisonment.

The extended level 3 lockdown announced by Ramaphosa on Monday means that the prohibition on alcohol sales will continue.

South Africans are also prohibited from visiting beaches in provinces which have been labelled as hotspot areas.  The latest extension has also introduced new rules, including a shorter curfew and the decision to close the country’s land borders.

These restrictions are seen as necessary as South Africa’s Covid-19 cases have continued to climb in recent weeks.

As a proportion of the population, the province with the highest average number of cases over the last seven days is KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Western Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Ramaphosa said that infections in Gauteng are growing exponentially, with this number set to rise as more holidaymakers return home from the coastal areas. This surge in increases is due to a new Covid-19 variant in the country which means that many more people have become infected in a far shorter space of time.

Compiled by Lehlohonolo Lehana.