Coronavirus Updates

Further drop in new Covid-19 cases in South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa – There has been a further drop in the number of new Covid-19-related cases in South Africa, with 15 046 new cases having been identified.

On Sunday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that 17 421 new cases had been reported. The cumulative total of Covid-19 cases in South Africa now stands at 1 246 643.

In a statement on Monday, Mkhize reported a further 416 deaths: Eastern Cape 163 , Free State 30, KwaZulu-Natal 38, Mpumalanga 4, North West 4, Northern Cape 1 and Western Cape 176. This brings the total number of deaths to 33 579.

A cumulative total of 7 236 389 tests have been completed, with 52 496 tests conducted since the last report. The number of recoveries now stand at 973 265, representing a recovery rate of 78.1%.

                                                                    Data supplied by the Department of Health

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to SA, Lana Marks, spent 10 days in intensive care while recovering from Covid-19, says the US embassy.

In a statement on Monday, Marks revealed how she had started to experience Covid-19 symptoms the day after Christmas and ended up in ICU two days later.

“Shortly after admission on December 28 I was moved to the ICU, where I remained for 10 days before spending three more days in the Covid-19 unit,” she said.

Marks said she was discharged from hospital late last week, and continues to receive care at home.

“My condition is improving and the doctors are confident that I will eventually make a full recovery,” said Marks.

“I will forever be grateful for the excellent level of care that I received from the South African doctors and nurses who tended to me in the hospital.

“I am just one of tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients that SA’s health-care workers and hospitals have treated with the utmost professionalism, putting their own lives at risk to practise their calling.

“Having seen them on the front lines of this battle for nearly a year, and now having had my own life in their hands, I will always remember their heroism and dedication and all that they sacrifice and risk as they fight this dangerous illness on behalf of their countrymen,” she said.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department has blamed staff absenteeism and the high number of patients who turned up at Wentworth Hospital after a video showed what appeared to be tardy care of patients.

The video, which started circulating at the weekend, showed patients sleeping on the floor, unattended or in chairs – while one woman screams for help, saying she cannot breathe. In the 90-second video, no staff members are seen responding to or attending to the woman. It is unclear who took the video.

The department said it immediately dispatched a high-level delegation of managers from its head office after becoming aware of the video.

Their investigations revealed that patients seen in the video were waiting for their Covid results and, on the day in question, the hospital had received a particularly high number of patients.

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