The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen to 2 272, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Monday 13 April.
This is an increase of 99 cases from Easter Sunday 12 April. Deaths also increased, with two more fatalities resulting from the virus.
A 68-year-old male from the Western Cape who had underlying health conditions, succumbed to the virus, as well as a 57-year-old Gauteng male who passed away in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Technical experts meet
Mkhize was addressing a public meeting of COVID-19 experts, and the purpose of the meeting was to outline some of the more technical aspects of researchers’ findings on the virus.
He said that he was concerned about the death of the 57-year-old in particular, because the man had no underlying health complications.
“We don’t have record of any underlying diseases,” he said. “[Underlying illnesses resulting in death] is the usual trend we have been seeing, but here we have not seen this.”
“It is still early days for us, and it’s going to be a long and hard struggle. This is a serious challenge that we must all brace up to facing.”
Testing ramps up
He said that 10,654 tracers were on the ground working to increasing screening and testing procedures and said that this work was starting to bare fruit.
In addition, the total number of tests has increased to 83,663, with 21,290 from the public sector.
“That number is beginning to pick up,” he said.
Mkhize added that within the tracing efforts, 9875 people had been located following efforts to track down those the Health Department had been informed had come into contact with positive patients.