Cape Town – There has been a further decline in the number of new Covid-19-related cases in South Africa, with 15,046 new cases identified.
On Sunday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that 17,421 new cases have been reported. The cumulative total of Covid-19 cases in South Africa now stands at 1,246,643.
In a statement on Monday, Mkhize reported a further 416 deaths: Eastern Cape 163, Free State 30, KwaZulu-Natal 38, Mpumalanga 4, North West 4, Northern Cape 1 and Western Cape 176. This brings the total number of deaths to 33,579.
A cumulative total of 7,236,389 tests were completed, with 52,496 tests performed since the last report. The number of recoveries now stands at 973,265, representing a recovery rate of 78.1%.
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to SA Lana Marks has spent 10 days in intensive care restoring Covid-19, the U.S. embassy said.
In a statement on Monday, Marks indicated how she began experiencing Covid-19 symptoms the day after Christmas and ended up in the ICU two days later.
“Shortly after admission on December 28, I was transferred to the ICU, where I stayed for 10 days before spending another three days in the Covid-19 unit,” she said.
Marks said she was discharged from the hospital late last week and will continue to receive care at home.
“My condition is improving and the doctors are sure I will eventually make a full recovery,” Marks said.
“I will be forever grateful for the excellent level of care I received from the South African doctors and nurses who treated me in the hospital.
‘I’m just one of tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients who have treated SA’s healthcare professionals and hospitals with the utmost professionalism, endangering their own lives to practice their calling.
“I’ve seen them on the front lines of this struggle for almost a year, and now having my own life in their hands, I will always remember their heroism and dedication and all that they sacrifice and risks as they fight this dangerous disease on behalf of of their countrymen, ‘she said.
The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has blamed the absence of staff and the high number of patients who showed up at Wentworth Hospital after a video showed light patient care appearing.
The video, which began circulating over the weekend, showed patients sleeping on the floor, unsupervised or in chairs – while one woman called for help and said she could not breathe. In the 90-second video, no staff members are seen responding to or attending to the woman. It is unclear who took the video.
The department said it immediately sent a delegation of high-level managers from its headquarters after becoming aware of the video.
Their investigations revealed that patients seen in the video were waiting for their Covid results and, on the day in question, the hospital had received a particularly high number of patients.