Covid-19: Ilembe - increase in positive cases is concerning
REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE KZN PREMIER MR SIHLE ZIKALALA, ON THE OCCASION OF UPDATING THE MEDIA ON THE STATUS QUO REGARDING COVID – 19, 26 APRIL 2020, IN KZN
WISHING OUR MUSLIM COMMUNITY A BLESSED RAMADAN
Let me begin by wishing the Muslim community a blessed Ramadan. It was alongside our Muslim compatriots, that we were able to bring down the walls of racial division and usher in a new society founded on unity, no-racialism, non-sexism, equality, justice and prosperity.
This year’s Ramadan has arrived amid the COVID-19 heath crisis. We are observing this sacred tradition in a new normal manner. Many are confined at home as travel is heavily restricted. Let us pray for the wisdom and strength to overcome the current health challenge. We therefore thank our Muslim community for their selfless contribution as we engage in this new offensive against the invisible and deadly COVID – 19.
PROVINCIAL COMMAND COUNCIL OUTCOMES
As the Command Council, we once again convened on Friday to take stock of our progress in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus.
This was our first meeting since we announced an intensified lockdown for eThekwini in our quest to stem the tide of new infections, particularly in this district.
KwaZulu-Natal has up to this point contributed nearly 21 % of new cases in the country.
As of the 25th April 2020, KwaZulu-Natal has had 846 confirmed cases, 29 deaths, and 241 recoveries. While there were no deaths reported we remain vigilant in our monitoring and management of the cases.
We are still noticing a trend whereby most of our new cases are being registered in eThekwini, which is recording above 10 cases per day. In fact, there is not a single day that eThekwini does not report new cases - unlike other districts, which can go on for days without having new cases. It is also concerning to us that we are noting an increase in the number of positive cases at Ilembe District.
Since the 22nd of April 2020, of the 44 new cases reported, 19 were from eThekwini, and 25 were reported at Ilembe.
LATEST PROVINCIAL STATISTICS ON THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS
In terms of where we stand with positive cases, the Province is looking as follows:
● Amajuba 8
● EThekwini now - 579
● King Cetshwayo 12
● Harry Gwala 1
● Ilembe now - 122
● Ugu 16
● UMgungundlovu 49
● UMkhanyakude 21
● UMzinyathi 3
● UThukela 23
● Zululand 2
Last Sunday, we had 383 cases for eThekwini; today we are at 579. Last Sunday, our deaths in eThekwini stood at 21…. Today, we are at 25. All the other four (4) districts have registered one death since the start of the pandemic.
So, as things stand, we remain more concerned with the Ethekwini situation and what is emerging in ILembe District.
The President on Thursday announced that we will now follow a Risk Adjusted Strategy, which will see the country downgrading to level 4 from the 1st of May 2020. This is welcome news as it will begin to free some areas of economic activity.
The President, however, further clarified and emphasized that even during level 4 the risk is still too high. Therefore the precautions that were put for the civil society to comply with still apply and must be adhered to.
If we were to use the National Risk Adjusted Strategy guideline, as things stand, it looks like eThekwini will still remain under stricter lockdown regulations compared to other districts – unless there is a drastic change in the coming days.
WHY MORE DEATHS IN ETHEKWINI?