SOUTH AFRICA: COVID-19 cases jump to 7,572, death toll now at 148


South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa takes part in a press conference
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa takes part in a press conference

AGENCIES | Johannesburg – South Africa now has over 7,500 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus and 10 more deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday, May 5.

Mkhize said there were 352 new infections, taking the total cases to 7572, while the death toll had risen to 148.

The country is currently in day 40 of its national lockdown which was instituted to curb the spread of the virus.

Last Friday, South Africa eased into level 4 of the national lockdown and allowed just over one million workers to return to work, after instituting the strict level 5 lockdown for 35 days between March and April.

In easing into level 4 of the lockdown, the wearing of cloth masks became compulsory for all who were in public.

On the last week of the level 5 lockdown, South Africa saw 1 694 new infections – between April 24 and April 30.

In the same period, there were 24 Covid-19 related deaths.

And as the country entered into the level 4 lockdown, the cases have not slowed, with 1925 cases and 45 deaths recorded in just 5 days between May 1 and May 5.

Mkhize said a more than 268 000 people had now been tested for the virus, with 10 000 people tested in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday re-affirmed government’s decision to extend the ban on cigarette sales during the level 4 lockdown.

He called on those who were unhappy over the decision to approach the courts.

Mkhize meanwhile, will on Wednesday morning receive a personal protection equipment (PPE) donation from Old Mutual and Sibanye Stillwater during an oversight visit in North West province, one of the less hit Covid-19 provinces in the country.

Mkhize will be accompanied by Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe, North West Premier Job Mokgoro and North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha.

Mokgoro and Mkhize will also visit the Rustenburg Correctional Centre screening and testing site on Wednesday afternoon.

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