South Africa: SA Covid-19 Death Toll Rises to 19,465, While Global Cases Peak

Established in a City of Cape Town-owned community sports centre, the now-closed Khayelitsha Field Hospital functioned as an extension of the adjacent Khayelitsha District Hospital (file photo).

Fifty-four people died from conditions associated with COVID-19 on Monday, pushing the death toll to 19,465 since the outbreak in South Africa.

Of the latest fatalities, 24 are from the Eastern Cape, 13 from the Free State, and nine from the Northern Cape.

Four deaths were recorded in the Western Cape, two in Limpopo and one each in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

"Of the 54 deaths reported, four were reported to have occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours," said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Meanwhile, the number of cases has increased to 727 595 after 772 people contracted the virus.

Gauteng has the highest numbers of active cases sitting at 15 411, followed by the Free State with 11 754, KwaZulu-Natal with 7 083 and Western Cape 4 499.

The Eastern Cape has 3 784 active cases, the Northern Cape 3 597, the North West 3 399, Mpumalanga 576 and Limpopo 527.

"Our recoveries now stand at 657 500, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%," Mkhize said in his statement.

The information is based on the 4 852 918 tests conducted, 10 402 of which were performed since the last report.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, there are 46 403 652 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 198 569 deaths to date.

COVID-19 cases peak globally

WHO Director-General (DG), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is currently self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

"I am well and without symptoms but will self-quarantine in the coming days, in line with WHO protocols.

"At this time, it is critically important that we all comply with health guidance," Ghebreyesus said at a virtual briefing, adding that this is how the chain of transmission can be broken.

While many countries have brought COVID-19 under control, cases in some countries in Europe and North America continue to spike.

"This is another critical moment for action, another critical moment for leaders to step up," Ghebreyesus stressed.

The DG believes that everyone has a role to play in suppressing transmission.

He said the WHO has released videos featuring multiple countries demonstrating their comprehensive responses to COVID-19, including New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Italy and Spain.

Ghebreyesus cited Mongolia as an exemplary country that has beaten Coronavirus, with zero deaths or local transmission.

According to reports, all 350 confirmed cases in Mongolia were imported, with 313 people having recovered.

"What Mongolia and all these stories show is that there are shared lessons that we can all learn from," said Ghebreyesus.

In some countries, however, cases are going up exponentially and hospitals are reaching capacity, which poses a risk to patients and health workers alike, Ghebreyesus said. "This is leaving health workers with difficult decisions to make on how to prioritise care for those that are sick."

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