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Level 1: WHO raises red flag after increase in Covid-19 cases in SA

Estimated Covid-19 deaths are said to have topped 36 500.

  • The WHO expressed concern after a six percent increase in Covid-19 cases in South Africa.
  • Health authorities have warned the public that the easing of restrictions can lead to a surge in cases.
  • South Africa’s daily average increase stands at around 1 600 cases a day for the past week.

An increase in the number of Covid-19 cases has been reported over the last week, which came after the country entered Level 1 of the lockdown.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed concern following a six percent increase in Covid-19 cases in South Africa in the past seven days, according to the SABC.

READ | What experts have learned, and the questions that remain about severe Covid-19-infections

The increase comes as the continent experiences an overall decrease in infections.

During his announcement of the easing of restrictions, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the nation had weathered the Covid-19 storm – but he also warned of a potential second wave of the pandemic.

He asked citizens to continue being vigilant in this regard.

On Friday, South Africa recorded 1 480 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative number of detected cases to 668 529.

The Department of Health recorded 29 more Covid-19-related deaths, taking the total fatalities to 16 312.

The country has recorded 599 149 recoveries, which translates to a recovery rate of 89.6%.

Covid-19 cases increased by an average of 1 600 cases a day for the past week and, while this is significantly lower than the rate at which new cases were increasing in July and August, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and scientists have repeatedly warned that people need to maintain strict safety measures. 

The country will further ease lockdown restrictions at the start of October, when international travel will again be permitted.

The health department says, at this stage, it is monitoring this small increase.

“Hopefully, this is not a sustained increase in the weeks to come,” department spokesperson Popo Maja told News24 on Saturday.

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