KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala is expected to release details about the provincial government departments’ coronavirus (COVID-19) expenditure in Durban on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Zikalala told the media that the province has recorded over 100 000 COVID-19 cases so far, now surpassing the Western Cape. Of these cases, the province has also suffered over 1 500 deaths.
He has urged people to continue to adhere to all lockdown regulations, saying that infection numbers in the province are expected to increase further. The eThekwini and Umgungundlovu districts remain the key hotspots in the province.
Premier Zikalala says they are concerned about the increase in the number of infections.
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However, Dean and Head at the School of Nursing and Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal- Professor Mosa Moshabela believes that there could be a decrease in the number of infections in the coming weeks.
“We peaked at about 3 500 new infections a day and we started to come down to basically less than 2000. So we have been averaging around 2 000 and we are now kind of going even lower. We are seeing this pattern nationally as well.”
“So I would say that at minimum we are at our peak or at the plateau. Maybe in the next week or so, if things remain the same, then we may see those numbers start to go down. I am taking this into consideration because of the fact that we are in level 3.”
He explains that the current rise in infections- that is concerning many- could have been caused by the results of backlog tests.
“At this point, I am no longer concerned about the coverage of testing. I think that we kind of went past the stage where testing was not accessible because of testing kits and backlogs and we have been assured that the testing backlog in KZN has been cleared.”
“It is possible that some of the numbers that we are seeing could be part of that backlog. If people were not being tested enough, it would reflect in the number of admissions that are coming to hospitals – because we have also been monitoring the admissions and the deaths and it’s also been flattening.”
Zikalala is urging people not to drop their guard as the country remains in lockdown level 3.
“This literary means many more people are getting infected and many more people may die if we do not change our behaviour. We would like to appeal to people to play their part in order to flatten the curve of coronavirus pandemic. As the provincial government has done enough and the fight requires everybody to come to the party,” adds Zikalala.
He is appealing to public transport authorities to ensure that taxis, buses and trains are sanitized to protect passengers from being infected by the virus.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) August 11, 2020
SA’s COVID-19 trial
Meanwhile, more than 1 000 participants have been enrolled in South Africa’s COVID-19 efficacy trial. 1 017 participants in Gauteng have received one vaccine, and 50 in the Western Cape. South African Medical Research Council, chief executive officer, and president, Professor Glenda Gray joined the randomised control trial and received her first dose at the University of Cape Town’s Lung Institute on Tuesday.
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