196,750 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 3,199

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 196,750 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 8,773 cases from the 187,977 cases reported on Saturday – which saw a new 24-hour high for the country of 10,853 cases.

The minister announced 173 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 3,199 casualties and 93,315 recoveries to date.

A total of 1.83 million tests have been conducted, with 38,083 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Globally since 31 December 2019 and as of 5 July 2020, in excess of 11.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, with 534,000 deaths and 6.45 million recoveries.

The epicenter of the pandemic has continued to shift throughout the year. Starting first in China, then Europe and now developing countries like Brazil and India.

Since late March, the US has had the most infections globally—accounting for a quarter of the world’s confirmed cases and deaths.

Gauteng lockdown

The Gauteng government has asked the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to introduce ‘hard lockdown’ measures in the province as it faces a surge of coronavirus cases.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said that this would include shutdowns of up to two weeks while the province introduces further restrictions.

“Nobody goes to work and no-one moves. Then the economy opens up again for a particular period of time and then it closes again. So at least there is predictability and you can control infections in that way,” Masuku said.

“We must put up regulations which we will be able to enforce. One thing that is a problem is people gathering in crowds, that is the first one. So parties, churches, funerals, protests, weddings and all social gatherings are causing a problem.”

Some of the key restrictions which Gauteng wants to introduce include:

  • The restriction of movement;
  • Weddings, protests and church gatherings will be banned.
  • The number of people who attend funerals would be cut from 50 to 20.
  • Alcohol sales for off-site consumption would be allowed only once a week.
  • A shutdown of parts of the economy – including barring taxis from loading 100% of their capacity.

Read: The new lockdown court case every South African employee should know about

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