Cape Town – South Africa now has 3 300 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and four more deaths as a result of the coronavirus, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Monday.
This is an increase of 142 infections on Sunday’s 3158 confirmed Covid-19 cases. The total number of deaths from the virus increased by four to 58.
To date 121 510 tests have been conducted nationwide.
On a positive note, Mkhize also announced 165 new recoveries, bringing the total number of patients who have recovered after contracting the virus to 1055.
Mkhize on Saturday highlighted funeral events as an area of concern as a concern as the country continues to grapple with the Covid-19 coronavirus.
He said activities performed at funeral events were a concern because they provide the perfect condition for a virus to spread. Under normal circumstances, hundreds of people usually attend funeral events as part of cultural rituals.
However, this activity has not been spared with restrictions by government’s lockdown regulations. The number of people who can attend a funeral has been capped at 50 and only close family members are permitted to attend.
Even with these restrictions, Mkhize says funerals remain a concern. He listed an example of how people often show affection to bereaved individuals as a gesture of compassion through hugging and shaking hands. What was also a concern was the sharing of shovels at gravesites and serving spoons at feeding stations. These activities provided a condition for the virus to potentially spread.
Earlier on Tuesday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government will increase its welfare provision to help poor households suffering because of the ational lockdown which is now in its fourth week.
Ramaphosa’s announcement came as allegations of irregularities in the disbursement of food parcels surfaces across the country. He promised that any government official found guilty of looting food parcels would be dealt with decisively.
“A number of provinces have received reports that callous individuals, some of them allegedly government officials, are hoarding or selling food parcels earmarked for the needy and destitute, or diverting them to their friends and families,” Ramaphosa said.
“If there is found to be substance to these allegations we will deal with the individuals concerned harshly.”
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL’s special #Coronavirus page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za
By Lou-Anne Daniels and Zintle Mahlati