The latest coronavirus figures released by the Department of Health and announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday night show the number of confirmed positive cases has increased to 12 074.
It means that there was an increase of 724 cases between 12 and 13 May.
A total of 386 352 tests have been conducted to date, with 16 655 tests done in the 24-hour cycle from 12 to 13 May.
Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that the country would drop to Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown by the end of May, but some parts of the country with higher infection rates would remain at Level 4.
In the past seven weeks of the lockdown, 1 752 lives have been saved – 35 people per day, the president said. He emphasised that “despite its duration and severity, the lockdown we imposed was absolutely necessary”.
“Without the lockdown, the number of coronavirus infections would have soared uncontrollably. Our health facilities would have been overwhelmed and many thousands of South Africans would have died.”
These are the latest figures as released by the health department:
Figure 1: Case data
Figure 2: Testing data
To date, 219 people have died as a result of Covid-19, while 4 745 recoveries have been recorded.
Data shows that infections are mostly concentrated in metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country. The government will, however, be announcing changes to the Level 4 regulations to expand business activities which may be permitted in the retail space and e-commerce.
Ramaphosa spent much of his address to the nation calling on South Africans to adhere to measures such as hand washing and wearing face masks, justifying South Africa’s initial hard lockdown, and promising consultation and transparency.
The president conceded that some action the government has taken in its effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus has been unclear, contradictory and poorly explained. He committed to make amends and correct mistakes made by government during the seven-week lockdown.
“Where we have disappointed, we will continue to make amends. Where we make mistakes… as I said we are traversing uncharted territory. None of us [has] ever been through what we are going through now in the history of this country. We will make mistakes but I can assure you we will always seek to correct those mistakes,” he said.
– Compiled by Riaan Grobler