The Health Ministry says the number of positive novel coronavirus cases now stands at 927. This is an increase of 218 from Wednesday. Gauteng still has the highest number with 409 confirmed cases. The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal-Natal are following with 229 and 134 cases, respectively.
Gauteng has almost half of the nation’s positive cases of COVID-19. This may be attributed to the province being the biggest gateway into the country.
The Free State has 49 cases, but the number is expected to increase rapidly after two churches that had mass gatherings this month confirmed that some of their congregants had tested positive for the viral infection.
The announcement of the new cases comes as South Africa prepares for a national lockdown which starts on Thursday midnight.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has again appealed to South Africans to adhere to the lockdown regulations.
He has also called on the country to pray over the pandemic on Thursday evening.
Ramaphosa has also appealed to members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to do their utmost to help save the lives of South Africans as the country prepares to go into a nationwide lockdown.
The President has warned that this number of cases is expected to increase.
Ramaphosa has called on the police force to not violate people’s rights in their line of duty.
“We are dead serious about saving lives and those who want to take chances must, of course, meet the wrath of the South African state. Let’s make sure that we, as the police service, we do not do anything that is going to violate the rights of our people by mistake or unintentionally. Let us go do right and save their lives.”
In the video below, employers are warned against withholding employees’ salaries:
Meanwhile, traffic volumes have increased on the N12 and N4 in Mpumalanga as motorists head back home. The travellers have not heeded Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s call to not move across provinces.
Mpumalanga’s Health Department has set up screening stations for motorists across the province.
Health MEC Sasekani Manzini says this is to ensure that people do not spread the virus while they are heading home.
“We are here, so that we can create that awareness. People want to be screened. They are even excited to know their results because they are also scared. So, we are making them calm, to understand what is this coronavirus that we are talking about. That is the purpose of today. We do the actual screening for everyone that is passing at the toll plaza.”
Almost half a million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide so far, with more than 22 000 deaths.
Below is a Live Tracking of the cases, death toll and other information, updated daily: