'Tough battle' ahead as virus cases rise to nearly 4,000

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the intensified community screening and testing campaign is assisting in finding more COVID-19 positive patients.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the intensified community screening and testing campaign is assisting in finding more COVID-19 positive patients.

Reuters/Motshwari Mofokeng

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warned South Africa still had a "tough battle to fight".

This after the number of coronavirus cases rose to nearly 4,000 on Thursday, the biggest single-day jump recorded to date, health ministry figures showed.

READ: 28 Gauteng health officials test positive for COVID-19

A total of 318 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, bringing the overall total to 3,953, and the number of fatalities rose by 10 to 75.

READ: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in SA increase by 318

The day before, a total 170 new cases had been reported.

"We are observing a steady increase in the number of positive cases," Mkhize said in a statement. 

"While this concerns us, we are also pleased that the intensified community screening and testing campaign is assisting in finding more COVID-19 positive patients," he added.

READ: Lockdown succeeding in flattening infection curve, says expert

"This allows us to take the necessary actions such as isolation, quarantine or hospitalisation if required."

The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised South Africa for its response to the pandemic based on "primary prevention, lockdown and enhanced surveillance". 

Despite the WHO's praise, Mkhize warned that "we still have a long way ahead of us and face a tough battle to fight".

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Source
AFP