COVID-19: SA records over 8 000 new cases, 173 deaths

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South Africa has reached a new sombre milestone during its second wave of COVID-19 infections, breaching 8 000 cases of the respiratory illness in a single day. In a statement on Thursday, 10 December 2020, the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said the country picked up 8 166 new infections, bringing the national tally to 836 764 cases since the virus was first detected in the country back in March.

Mkhize has expressed concern over the massive spike as the single-day figure is the highest recorded in a matter of a few months.

“We wish to reiterate our plea to South Africans to heed the threat of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases identified. There is clear evidence of an exponential rise in transmission and this is cause for serious concern,”Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize

The Western Cape and Eastern Cape account for most of the new cases, recording 2 666 and 2 187 infections respectively. KwaZulu-Natal has seen 1 669 new infections followed by Gauteng which has detected 1 234 in a 24-hour cycle.

Mkhize has said that people aged between 15 and 19 accounted for most of the cases which were confirmed in the previous days. This was attributed to large gatherings attended by young people where alcohol is consumed and essential preventative measures were hardly applied.

COVID-19: Death toll rises to 22 747

The death toll has also increased to 22 747 after 173 new fatalities linked to COVID-19 were recorded. The Eastern Cape accounts for 90 of those deaths while 52 were in the Western Cape. In Free State, 13 people succumbed to the virus, 10 in KZN and 8 in Gauteng.

There are concerns that like many other countries experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, South Africa may spend the festive season under tighter restrictions.

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which essentially governs the current lockdown, is believed to have met on Thursday, 10 December 2020. This was to discuss the non-compliance of the necessary health measures to combat the spread of the virus including wearing of masks and social distancing.

South Africans had initially thought they were off the hook after President Cyril Ramaphosa, while acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, announced lockdown restrictions for Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape.

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