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South Africa: COVID-19 Update – 21 April 2020

As at 21, April the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 3 465.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 126 937, of which 5427 were done in the last 24 hours.

Today we visited the Eastern Cape where we have observed a rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases and this raised a concern. The biggest risk of spread that has been identified is the cultural practices occurring at funerals. We engaged with the provincial executive led by Premier Oscar Mabuyane together with the Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba.

We immediately took a decision to urgently deploy more medical experts including senior epidemiologists, analysts and field consultants to reinforce the provincial team, led by Dr Kerrigan McCarthy from the NICD. We are also pleased that the World Health Organisation has also assisted us by deploying more clinicians and experts.

We have also deployed senior officials from the National Department of Health to do a proper audit of the available personal protective equipment and other requirements.

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This is to ensure the safety and adequate protection of our health workers who are at the forefront. We reiterate that no health worker should be exposed to the risk of infection. They must all be adequately trained on the infection prevention and control (IPC) and be protected at all times.

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