Tuesday, 20 April 2021 21:18

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa now stands at 1 568 366.

This is an increase of 853 new cases identified in the last 24 hours.

The number of tests conducted to date is 10 379 089. Of these 23 893 tests were completed since the last report.

Mkhize said a further 130 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 11, Free State 7, Gauteng 11, KwaZulu Natal 5, Limpopo 5, Mpumalanga 3, North West 34, Northern Cape 13 and Western Cape 41.

This brings the total to 53 887 deaths. Some Provinces have been conducting data verification at facilities to ensure that all COVID-19 related deaths that were not reported are reported.

Mkhize added that the cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 494 630, representing a recovery rate of 95%.

Meanwhile Mkhize said on Tuesday the fire that saw nearly 700 patients evacuated from Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital had also destroyed more than R40m worth of medical stock and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mkhize was speaking during a visit to the closed hospital to assess the extent of damage caused by the blaze on Friday and to discuss a recovery plan.

He was joined by Gauteng premier David Makhura and provincial health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi.

Makhura visited the hospital on Saturday and said it would remain closed for a week. Patients who needed medication and care were advised to go to nearby hospitals.

Mkhize said on Tuesday the fire had caused significant destruction. He said the fire had started on the dispensary side of the facility.

"We have seen in some areas there has been destruction with the floors caving in. Holes have appeared on different floors. It was a huge fire resulting in a huge amount of destruction," said Mkhize.

The minister said that no patients were injured by the fire. The tally of damage sustained had yet to be determined.