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KZN health MEC concerned over spike in Covid-19 cases

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize and MEC for health in KZN Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu outside the Clairwood Hospital in Durban. File Photo
Former health minister Zweli Mkhize and MEC for health in KZN Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu outside the Clairwood Hospital in Durban. File Photo
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for health Nomagugu Simelane has sounded alarm bells after a spike in Covid-19 cases in the province. 

Simelane's department said 1,742 cases of Covid-19 were recorded between Saturday and Sunday, with the majority of new cases in eThekwini (80%) followed by Umgungundlovu District (7%) and iLembe (5%).

“It is the first time in months that the number of new infections threatens to reach the 2,000 mark, and the latest figures have pushed the seven-day average from 414 to 1,171.”

Simelane said she was also concerned about the rising number of patients hospitalised for Covid-19. 

“Of the 437 people currently admitted in public and private hospitals for Covid-19, 47 are in ICU and nine on ventilators. A week ago, the province had 342 people hospitalised as Covid-19 patients, including 44 in ICU and 11 on oxygen.

“In terms of our emergency early warning systems, a 10% increase in cases over a 7-day moving average will trigger an alert, while a 20% increase in cases over a 7-day moving average, which is what we’ve seen, may trigger resurgence.”

She said they were uncertain if the recent spike was the start of a fifth wave. 

“Clearly, something is happening. At this stage, we’re not sure whether this is the fifth wave or not, but these developments are cause for concern. That is why we are urging all the people of this province to stay alert, and to practise all the necessary precautions, such as wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and washing their hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser.”

About 16,079 people have lost their lives due to Covid-19 in the province.

According to the department of health only 2.756-million people have been vaccinated with a total of 4.463-million yet to get even a single jab.

“We are pleading with those who have not been vaccinated to come forward and get the jab. This is for their own good, because people who are not vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19, and more likely to transmit it to others. They are also at a much higher risk of dying from the infection compared to vaccinated people.”


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