South African Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country are reducing but there is still a chance of resurgence, reported CGTN Africa.
South Africa, which was the fifth most affected country globally, has now moved to the seventh place after Peru and Colombia surpassed it. It remains Africa’s worst-affected country.
“The numbers are reducing. We are not over the worst yet, we are worrying about the resurgence. Globally we are now at number 7, this tells us 2 things – 1 the numbers are declining in SA, 2 Globally the numbers are still increasing,” Mkhize said.
The South African health minister pointed out that health officials had changed the testing strategy during the pandemic’s peak to testing individuals with symptoms, co-morbidities, contacts, those admitted in hospital among others. He added that the numbers of such individuals had decreased. The minister further noted that hospital admissions and the number of people on ventilators had also decreased.
Mkhize, however, cautioned that the country was not yet ready for a full reopening.
“We are not ready to open everything immediately. We are moving in that direction, the economy does need to be opened, however we will ease into the decrease in restrictions,” the South African health minister said.
Mkhize insisted that all the people need to adhere to the existing containment measures in order to prevent a second wave.
“We mustn’t try to predict that there will be no second wave, instead we should behave in a way to prevent a second wave from occurring,” he said.
Mkhize added that the country has been on a steady decline for about three weeks. He said that are other countries that have reported almost no cases and then there has been a second wave.
South Africa has reported 639,362 coronavirus cases and over 15,000 deaths so far.