NATIONAL NEWS - As of Monday, 28 September, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 671,669 with 903 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
188 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported: 3 from Eastern Cape 1 from KwaZulu-Natal, 2 from Gauteng, 4 from Western Cape and 178 from the Free State.
Thus bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 16,586.
Mkhize noted that the Free State has been experiencing delays for the past two weeks in the reporting of Covid-19 deaths as the province collated data from the various districts and verified against Home Affairs’ data.
“This is part of efforts to improve the quality of data by aligning information from facilities with Home Affairs statistics. Data from postmortem swabs also had to be collated and verified.
“This is in line with the recommendations of the Medical Research Council. The data is now up to date,” he said.
“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers that treated the deceased patients,” the Minister added.
Recoveries now stand at 604,478 which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.
Mkhize also confirmed, along with the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) and World Health Organisation Surge Team reports, that South Africa was past the Covid-19 surge and that the country’s epidemiological curve had demonstrated a plateau for several weeks.
“Therefore, based on the conduct of the South African pandemic, we have re-evaluated our national response and identified new challenges that require new approaches.”
He further clarified that Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19 was not disbanded.
“As we find ourselves in an extremely fortunate position of achieving effective transmission control, the true test lies in our ability to maintain low transmission rates. This requires a more holistic approach to case management, preventive measures and public policy.
“It therefore became necessary to strengthen the MAC on Covid-19 so that it falls in line with its mandate to advise on effective mechanisms for the prevention of onward transmission of Covid-19.
“Recognizing that the composition of the current MAC was focused on a biomedical approach, The Minister has taken a decision to augment the existing committee with various other experts from different sectors.”
The Minister continued to say that the reinforced MAC on Covid-19 consisted of bio-medical practitioners; clinical experts; specialists in ethics; the nursing profession; social scientists; re-searchers; and community leaders who will advise on interventions that should be considered in responding to the epidemic.
“Also to influence the behavioural change that is required to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19.
“The strengthened MAC will still maintain a degree of continuity, retaining many of the experts from the original clinical-biomedical MAC, including the incumbent chair Prof Abdool-Karim, Prof Marc Mendelson, Prof Sthembiso Mkhize, Prof Rudo Mathivha and Prof Nombulelo Magula, amongst others.”
Read the full statement here.