Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, South Africa has reported its single highest jump in positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. According to reports, the country saw an addition of 1,160 new coronavirus cases on May 17. South Africa has reported 15,515 positive coronavirus cases and has a death toll of 264.
South African President Cyril Ramaphisa has reportedly warned people to be prepared to live with the deadly coronavirus pandemic for a year or more and also cautioned them to follow social distancing measures and wear face masks even after lockdown restrictions have been eased. He added that precautionary measures will help curb the spread of the virulent virus. The country has imposed nationwide lockdown since March 27.
The President reportedly announced last month a five-phased plan to gradually ease the lockdown restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus. As per reports, presently the country is witnessing its level 4 under which limited businesses are allowed to open, there is a curfew between 8 pm and 5 am and a ban on alcohol and liquor sales.
With more than half of the nation’s confirmed cases that account for over 10,600 infections, Cape Town and its surrounding Western Cape province have reportedly turned into South Africa’s coronavirus hotspot.
As per reports, South Africa eased lockdown measures, that allowed an estimated 1.6 million people to return to work in selected mines, factories, and businesses. Further, Western Cape province with its poor, densely populated townships, reported cluster outbreaks, majorly in Cape Town.
Health Minister, Zweli Mkizhe, said while speaking at the press conference that the concentration of cases in Cape Town may see the city return to a stricter lockdown and containment efforts to contain the pandemic. “That is what is going to happen in Cape Town. Where the higher rate of transmission is, it is going to require that there are even stricter restrictions,” said Mkhize.
After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed 316,732 lives worldwide as of May 18. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has infected at least 4,805,210 people. Out of the total infections, 1,860,050 have recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities still remain under lockdown in almost many countries and the economy is struggling.