While the number of KwaZulu-Natal’s Covid-19 cases is nowhere near to what was predicted, the rapid rise in cases and deaths over the last week are cause for concern, Premier Sihle Zikalala has said.
“The medical and scientific team had projected the province to be at more than 200 000 patients by mid-July. We are currently sitting above 23 000 confirmed laboratory cases.
“This says we are behind the projected figures… The rise in infections is, however, worrying us,” he added on Sunday afternoon.
Zikalala said projected ICU admissions were also lower, with 45 patients in ICU and high care.He added the recent increase in numbers meant more had to be done.
“A health promotion strategy has been developed and will be implemented with the aim of strengthening knowledge among our communities. The strategy will be utilising community health workers as the key pillar in disseminating these messages.”
Where does the province stand statistically?
Zikalala said as of Sunday, the province had registered 23 751 positive cases, of which 17 450 were still active. This included 280 deaths and 6 021 recoveries.
He added a large number of cases and deaths had occurred over the past week.
“A week ago, we had 13,984 cases, of which 9,605 were active, 182 deaths, and 4197 recoveries. This therefore means that in just one week, we have had 9,767 new Covid-19 cases, 98 new deaths, and an additional 1,824 recoveries.”Zikalala said the province “is currently on a surge”, recording above 1,000 cases daily.
“We are still the fourth highest-ranking province with a number of laboratory-confirmed cases countrywide. However, the province is ranking the third highest in terms of laboratory testing. The province contributed 14% of the new cases reported nationally.”
He added of the 11 districts, eThekwini continued to receive the majority of cases, accounting for 53% of the total provincially.
eThekwini and its neighbouring district, UMgungundlovu, account for 60% of the cases recorded daily.
Zikalala said the King Cetshwayo District was also a cause for concern, recording around 66 cases per day, adding the iLembe District, a previous hotspot, had been stable for six weeks, but on 10 July alone had recorded 133 cases.
He added there was an increase in patients admitted to ICUs and hospitals in general at both private and public facilities.
“Of those admitted, 159 patients required intensive care. Among those who required intensive care, 57% [91 people] were ventilated. Other patients  were admitted to high care units.”