Number of Covid-19 cases will be 'much higher' by Friday: Mkhize

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said that the confirmed cases were registered at 8pm every night, and the cases reported the next day.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said that the confirmed cases were registered at 8pm every night, and the cases reported the next day.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said he was certain that by Friday the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in SA will be almost 200.

This was after the health department confirmed an announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday that there were 150 confirmed cases.

He said that the confirmed cases were registered at 8pm every night, and the cases reported the next day.

“We are quite certain by tomorrow [Friday] we would have gone much higher, probably just under 200,” Mkhize said at a meeting of the SA Medical Association on Thursday evening.

He said government planned to increase testing so that a few thousand people a day can be checked.

“It is possible to turn things around. There shouldn’t be any health worker affected,” Mkhize said.

He the “real war” was tracing of contacts of people who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Mkhize added that the department of health was partnering with an NGO to do a “mop up” to test patients after they complete their 14-day quarantine.

He further noted that they were talking to hotels around airports to provide quarantine facilities.

“At the moment there’s no vaccine available. Now and again, in the public arena someone stands up and says there’s a vaccine available,” Mkhize said.

He said SA will participate in a vaccine trial in June but it would take at least 18 months for a vaccine to be available.


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