Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has increased by 96 to 1845 as of Wednesday.
Mkhize said the number of deaths due to the virus now stands at 18 from 13 deaths on Tuesday.
This comes as KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Wednesday that they had agreed with Netcare to shutdown the St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban. The hospital has now been closed to the public after more than 48 staff members tested positive to the Covid-19 coronavirus, as well as five of the province’s deaths emanating from the hospital.
In total, 66 people linked to the hospital have tested positive for the virus.
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the only ward that was operational at the hospital was a ward where Covid-19 infected patients were being treated.
“We have closed down the hospital but this was done in phases. Firstly, we instructed that as of Wednesday last week, the hospital should not take any more patients. However, before we started discharging or transferring patients, we tested all the patients. With the treatment and results, we have been able to discharge patients, not infected with Covid-19, to other facilities,” she said.
On Tuesday, South Africa received a boost when the Motsepe Foundation committed to donating 200 000 surgical masks in a bid to fight the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile in the Western Cape, cases jumped past 500 on Wednesday, Premier Alan Winde revealed. But according to the National Department of Health, there are 495 cases in the province.
Winde has said previously that there was a lag between the results and those formally registered on the system with the National Department of Health.
“This can create discrepancies between the national and provincial data but does not impact the accuracy of any of the numbers released,” said Winde.
Winde had earlier tested for the virus in a bid to urge people to get tested. This follows damaging fake news being circulated that test kits were contaminated with the virus.
“Today, the Western Cape surpassed the 500 case mark, and with every additional case we register, we increase the risk of a vulnerable person being infected. It is important that we all continue to take the necessary steps to ensure we protect ourselves and others,” Winde said.
Members of the public continue to be urged to stay home, frequently wash hands with soap and to desist from touching their faces. Members of the public are also urged to practice social distancing when they are out of the house.
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