HEALTH Minister Zweli Mkhize says he is concerned about the number of people who are dying at home due to Covid-19-related complications.
The minister was speaking to the media during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday morning.
This comes after South Africa confirmed 521 318 infections as of Tuesday night, as well as 8 884 deaths and 363 751 recoveries.
He called on senior citizens to stop taking flu-like symptoms for granted and urged them to get tested as soon as possible.
“Senior citizens, please do not take any flu for granted, go get tested. We are seeing that on day three of what people think is just a flu, they can hardly get out of bed. That is what is happening with the people who are dying at home,” he said.
Mkhize added that the health sector had managed to reduce the pressure at hospitals and was urging people requiring chronic medication, family planning services and immunisation to return to hospital.
Meanwhile, on the issue of patients testing positive twice for Covid-19, Mkhize said more research was needed and that it remained rare.
“This is a new phenomenon, it is not a very frequent phenomenon. It is something we need to learn about. Our researchers must track the people that have tested positive twice and we need to understand how their antibodies are behaving. Is it due to the severity of the initial infection? We need to find out. With time it will be figured out,” he said.