Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday 1 April that the total number of COVID-19 cases have risen to 1 380. This is an increase of 27 since Tuesday 31 March. A total of 44 202 tests have been conducted in the country so far.
Mkhize announced on Tuesday that the cases had risen to 1 353 and so did the national death toll. According to the health minister, there has been a total of five deaths.
Latest COVID-19 death toll in SA
Mkhize did not announce an updated death toll on Wednesday which means the death toll still stands at five.
One of the five deaths included an internationally renowned scientist and HIV researcher by the name of Gita Ramjee. She passed away in Durban on Tuesday. A former colleague confirmed that she lost her life due to complications arising from COVID-19.
“We feel robbed by her passing”
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Mkhize said the following in a statement on Tuesday:
“A 46-year-old female from KwaZulu-Natal, who had an underlying condition of hypertension chronic asthma and at the time of admission, presented with an acute asthmatic attack, has died.”
A 79-year-old male from Gauteng also presented with respiratory distress and lost his life. These two deaths brought the COVID-19 death toll to five.
Around 10 000 community health workers to be deployed
A total of 10 000 community healthcare workers will be deployed across the country to conduct door-to-door screening for COVID-19 in the most vulnerable communities.
“We will be conducting screening and not tests: The field workers will not conduct any tests, but will refer any persons suspected of having coronavirus to the nearest CHC, clinic or hospital,” said Mkhize.
On Tuesday, 5 400 field workers were mobilised and a “dry run” was done at Alexandra by the Gauteng Health Department.
“Other areas that will be targeted at this stage, are Diepsloot and Khayelitsha and by Friday 3 April, we will have extended to other high-density areas of concern,” said Mkhize on Tuesday.
Mkhize also launched 60 mobile testing units on Wednesday evening.
Mbalula revises lockdown regulations for taxis
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Wednesday that there will be revised lockdown regulations for taxis to curb the spread of COVID-19.
During the lockdown period, the following public transport vehicles must reduce the number of maximum passengers – with no masks – to 70% of the licensed capacity as follows:
- A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of seven passengers;
- A minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the maximum of 10 passengers;
- A midi-bus permitted to carry a maximum of 22 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers; and
- A vehicle licensed to carry a maximum of four passengers is limited to carrying 50% of its permissible passenger-carrying capacity.
Alternatively, during the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity, provided that all passengers are wearing masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. The masks must be of the following categories:
- Surgical masks; and
- N95 respiratory masks.
“We require public transport operators to adhere to the directions on sanitising vehicles and put measures in place to give effect to social distancing at all material times,” he said.