WHO warns that while people are experiencing pandemic fatigue, the Covid-19 pandemic is not over.
THE DEATH toll in the Northern Cape from Covid-19 has jumped to 129 after nine additional deaths were announced by the Minister of Health on Monday evening.
Seven of the deaths are from the Sol Plaatje municipal area and two are from Dawid Kruiper.
The Province has also surpassed the 10 000 mark with a cumulative total of 10 726 people in the Northern Cape having tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 158 new cases were confirmed on Monday night by the Minister of Health, with 41 of these in Sol Plaatje. Twenty-two new cases were confirmed in the Dawid Kruiper municipal area, 19 in Gasegonyana, 15 in Tsantsabane, 13 in Phokwane, 12 in Emthanjeni and 11 in Gamagara.
According to figures released by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa now has 627 041 cumulative cases of Covid-19 after 1 985 new infections were identified on Monday.
The death toll jumped to 14 149 with 121 people succumbing to the respiratory disease.
Of the additional fatalities, 24 were in the Western Cape, 23 in Limpopo, 20 in both the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, and 16 in the Free State.
Three provinces recorded single-digit daily deaths – nine in the Northern Cape, eight in the North West and one in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased,” Mkhize said.
The provinces with the highest number of infections are Gauteng with 210 169 cases, KwaZulu-Natal 113 006, Western Cape 106 021 and Eastern Cape 86 163.
The Free State has 37 888 cases, North West 25 348, Mpumalanga 24 405, Limpopo 13 265 and Northern Cape 10 726.
Fifty cases remain unallocated.
The Western Cape has the most deaths at 3 893, followed by Gauteng with 3 592, Eastern Cape 2 896 and KwaZulu-Natal 2 139.
“The number of recoveries currently stands at 540 923, which translates to a recovery rate of 86%,” Mkhize said.
The information is based on the 3 693 721 tests performed since the outbreak, 18 849 of which were done in the last 24 hours.
Globally, there have been 25 118 689 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 844 312 deaths reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).
On Monday, the WHO published the first indicative survey on the impact of Covid-19 on health systems, based on 105 countries’ reports.
The information collected from five regions, from March to June 2020, illustrates that almost every country (90%) experienced disruption to its health services, with low- and middle-income countries experiencing the greatest difficulties.
The WHO said most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care – such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy – has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries.
The most frequently disrupted areas reported included routine immunisation – outreach services (70%) and facility-based services (61%), non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment (69%), family planning and contraception (68%), treatment for mental health disorders (61%) and cancer diagnosis and treatment (55%).
“The survey shines a light on the cracks in our health systems, but it also serves to inform new strategies to improve health care provision during the pandemic and beyond,” WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
He said Covid-19 should be a lesson to all countries that health is not an “either-or” equation.
“We must better prepare for emergencies but also keep investing in health systems that fully respond to people’s needs throughout the life course,” Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO also warned that while people were experiencing pandemic fatigue, the Covid-19 pandemic was not over.
“WHO fully supports efforts to reopen economies and societies. We want to see children returning to school and people returning to the workplace – but we want to see it done safely.
“At the same time, no country can just pretend the pandemic is over. The reality is that coronavirus spreads easily. It can be fatal to people of all ages, and most people remain susceptible,” Ghebreyesus said.
WHO warned countries against applying a blanket approach to opening up economic activities without suppressing transmission and saving lives.
“It can be done, and it has been done. But it can only be done if countries are in control of transmission. The more control countries have over the virus, the more they can open up.
“Opening up without having control is a recipe for disaster. It’s not a one size fits all, it’s not all or nothing,” said Ghebreyesus.