South Africa hits 500,000 infections but president hopeful
South Africa has surpassed 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, but President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he sees “promising signs” that the rapid growth of cases has stabilised and that the country’s strained health system is managing to cope.
Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize announced 10,107 new cases Saturday night, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 503,290, including 8,153 deaths. South Africa has now tallied more than 50% of all reported coronavirus infections in Africa’s 54 countries.
With a population of about 58 million, South Africa has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world, behind the US, Brazil, Russia and India, all countries with significantly higher populations, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic worldwide is much higher than confirmed cases, due to limited testing and other reasons.
Ramaphosa, in a letter to the nation on Sunday, said despite the high number of confirmed cases, he sees some positive developments.
“After a rapid rise in infections over the last two months, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilizing,” said Ramaphosa. He said the number of new infections has slowed in the provinces of the Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, which hosts the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
South Africa’s hospitals have been stretched to the limit but in most provinces they are succeeding in providing treatment to Covid-19 patients, he said.
“The health system has so far had sufficient capacity ...
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