Too early to celebrate decline in Covid-19 stats, says KZN premier

06 September 2020 - 14:58
By Lwandile Bhengu
KZN premier Sihle Zikalala has  warned people to be cautious  of the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 infections
Image: Supplied KZN premier Sihle Zikalala has warned people to be cautious of the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 infections

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala says it is too early for the province to start celebrating the decline in Covid-19 cases.

“As KZN we have taken the view that it may be too early for us to celebrate the drop in infections and the drop reported. We will, however, be continuously guided by the national coronavirus command council,” he said.

Zikalala was briefing the media on the latest Covid-19 statistics in the province on Sunday.

On Saturday evening the province had 114,646 cumulative cases, the second highest in the country, and of those, 10,586 were active cases. The province's recovery rate is at 89%. 

“The province is currently ranked second-highest in terms of laboratory testing, and the positivity rate has also dropped to below 10% daily,” said Zikalala.

Hospital admissions were down to less than 1,000, in both public and private hospitals, while 60% of infected health-care workers had recovered.

“A total of 7,043 health-care workers (HCWs) were infected with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Above 60% of the infected HCWs have recovered. Of the total infected, 67 (1%) (case fatality rate) succumbed to the disease,” said Zikalala.

Despite a steady decrease in numbers, Zikalala urged people to remain cautious due to the possibility of a second wave of infections.

“We have seen the threats of the second wave as reported in countries such as China, Italy, Spain and the US. Our message is still very clear: adhering to lockdown regulations FOR level 2 is crucial to curbing the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

“We urge all citizens to continue observing health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of face masks, sanitising and washing of hands. We also caution against sharing of drinks, cigarettes, cigars, and the so-called hubbly-bubbly.

“Do not behave in a manner that will put your life and the lives of your loved ones at risk,” he added.

The premier also touched on the recent protest by artists and musicians who demanded they be allowed to perform at 70% capacity 

“We fully understand the impact that Covid-19 has induced on the livelihoods of our colleagues in the arts, culture and entertainment sectors. We hear them, and we are more than willing to engage on matters,” he said.