More than 1,500 new infections overnight in KZN

Yasantha Naidoo Durban bureau chief
The KZN department of health confirmed that there were 1,576 new infections in the province overnight.
The KZN department of health confirmed that there were 1,576 new infections in the province overnight.
Image: 123RF / maridav

More than 1,500 new positive Covid-19 infections in KwaZulu-Natal overnight.

That's the grim reality health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu confirmed on Thursday, a day after national health minister Zweli Mkhize announced that SA was in the throes of a second wave of the pandemic.

Simelane-Zulu said the resurgence of Covid-19 means the “time is over for physically close and affectionate relations between young people and their parents and grand-parents”.

Grim figures released by the KZN department of health on Thursday show that there have been more than 1,500 new positive cases
Grim figures released by the KZN department of health on Thursday show that there have been more than 1,500 new positive cases
Image: KZN department of health

“Our 'new normal' means we literally need to change our old habits, and assimilate into the new world in which we find ourselves. We need to think hard, internalise, and act out a few new things that will ultimately prove important if we are to prevail against this virus,” said Simelane.

Mkhize said on Wednesday that KZN was one of four provinces that have contributed to the second wave. He said also that statistics showed that young people between the ages of 15 and 19 have been found to account for a large proportion of the infections, due to their mobility, and propensity for being part of large gatherings.

“Over the past 24-hour reporting period, KwaZulu-Natal has had 1,576 new Covid-19 infections, which bring the province’s cumulative number of cases to 134,184. At least 10,985 of these cases are still active. The province has now recorded an additional 10 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 3,423. No fewer than 119,776 people have recovered.

Simelane-Zulu said: “The problem is that, quite commonly, these young people may be Covid-19 positive but asymptomatic. So, they won’t even know that they are walking around with the virus. But this does not stop them from passing it on to their parents and elderly people. Therefore, there is a dire need for all young people in general to reconfigure how they interact with the elderly – and vice versa. Elderly people have a role to play to keep the youth within the social distancing norms.

“The time to be close and cosy with one another is over. And there’s really no reason we shouldn’t be wearing masks at home, if we’re going out, interacting with other people, and coming back to share our space with family.

“We need to do everything possible to avoid acquiring or spreading this virus, if we are to avoid a complete disaster due to this second wave.”

The MEC has pleaded with all citizens to avoid large gatherings, wear their masks as frequently as possible, and keep a distance of at least two metres between themselves and other people.

TimesLIVE


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