Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says that “The storm that we warned South Africans about is now upon us.”
Mkhize says South Africa will exceed its available capacity for hospital beds in the next four weeks, especially in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. “The pandemic will continue to peak as expected by mid-August. Although it looks like we will have fewer cases during the peak than initially feared, we will still have too few hospital beds to treat all the serious cases, ”Mkhize said.
According to Mkhize, by Tuesday South Africa had built 139 quarantine facilities with 12 532 beds nationwide. “Field hospitals have also been set up in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.”
Mkhize says 1.9 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out from March 1 to July 6, of which 11.8% tested positive for the virus. The Western Cape, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal performed 82% of these tests. South Africa recorded 215,855 positive cases on Tuesday, of which 103,934 are currently ill. So far, 3 470 deaths have been recorded, indicating a death rate of 1.6%.
More and more health professionals are also testing positive. “By June 30, 4,821 health workers nationwide had tested positive for the coronavirus, most of which (2,473) were nurses. Most of the health workers tested positive (68%) are in the Western Cape.