Almost 500 die as Covid-19 surge continues in SA

Police warned beachgoers they were not allowed to swim and surf at Muizenberg beach in Cape Town on December 29 2020, as new lockdown restrictions kicked in.
Police warned beachgoers they were not allowed to swim and surf at Muizenberg beach in Cape Town on December 29 2020, as new lockdown restrictions kicked in.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

On the day government pleaded with grieving families to social distance at funerals to avoid superspreader events, another 497 people were reported to have died from causes related to Covid-19 in SA.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday evening the additional 497 deaths recorded over 24-hours had raised the country's total death toll to 27,568.

"As of today the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases identified is 1,021,451 with 9,580 cases identified since the last report," he said.

"A cumulative 6,500 482,tests have been conducted with 31,457 tests completed since the last report."

Recoveries stand at 858,456, translating into a recovery rate of 84%.

The highest number of deaths were recorded in the Western Cape (158), Eastern Cape (137), KwaZulu-Natal (114) and Gauteng (68).

On the first morning of the revised level 3 lockdown, imposed to ease the burden of alcohol-related trauma cases in hospitals and limit the spread of the coronavirus in social settings, police warned surfers and beachgoers for violating a beach ban in Cape Town.

Police minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday said he had spoken to defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula about obtaining help from the military to enforce the new lockdown rules.

“That is on the cards,” he was quoted as saying by BusinessLIVE.

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