Total number of tests conducted to date is 161 004, says Health minister
THE TOTAL number of confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in South Africa increased by 141 to 4 361 as of Saturday, while seven more deaths were recorded, bringing the total number to 86, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday night.
The total number of tests conducted to date was 161 004, of which 8 614 were done in the past 24 hours, he said in a statement.
The provincial breakdown was as follows: the Western Cape (1 514); Gauteng (1 304); KwaZulu-Natal (847); Eastern Cape (488); Free State (111); Limpopo (30); North West (28); Mpumalanga (23); and the Northern Cape (16). Four new deaths were reported in the Eastern Cape, two in the Western Cape, and one in Limpopo.
Mkhize said Saturday also commemorated World Malaria Day, and South Africa supported the worldwide “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” campaign.
“We are mindful that while we put our efforts in fighting the Covid-19, we dare not lose sight of our determination to fight against malaria. This requires us to be vigilant as we continue to contend with communicable and non-communicable diseases,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had made an all important call to minimise disruptions to malaria prevention and treatment services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Failure to do this could undo the strides that had already been achieved, and lead to the doubling of malaria cases this year compared to 2018, according to the WHO modelling analysis.
“Indeed, many of the policies applied for Covid-19 were lessons drawn from the campaign to eliminate malaria by 2023 – community screening and testing; the roll-out of insecticide treated nets and indoor residual spraying at community levels; multisectoral and multinational co-operation for malaria prevention; and treatment tools are all strategies that have been adopted and modified for the accelerated and concerted global effort against Covid-19. We therefore echo the call to keep our eyes on the prize of eliminating malaria by 2023, as contemplated in the National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan for 2019-2023,” Mkhize said.
– African News Agency (ANA)