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Mkhize expects coronavirus infections to hit at least 200 today

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said he expected most of South Africans to get it and 20% of those to be severely infected.

FLE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday said the government estimated that South Africans could expect at least 60% of the population to be infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mkhize said they also expect the number of known cases to rise to a least 200 on Friday.

However, the minister said South Africa was a resilient country and would defeat the pandemic.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa is at 62 on 16 March 2020. Picture: EWN

Mkhize said he was sure the COVID-19 infections would increase.

He said he expected most of South Africans to get it and 20% of those to be severely infected.

The minister said its pivotal that doctors were equipped with tools to adequately fight the spread of the virus because currently this was the reality the country was faced with.

MKHIZE CALLS FOR SA TO LEARN FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

The minister said now was the time for South Africa to learn from other countries dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and to start increasing testing for the virus.

Mkhize said lessons must be learnt from other countries while South Africa dealt with its own crisis.

“We are unique and can change the course of this infection.”

He said this also meant targeting certain areas with many infections.

“We need to be ready to test a couple of thousands per day, but we believe it’s time to have targeted surveillance and go to areas where we think there can be risk.”

Mkhize said religious leaders were also on board to curb the spread - with a general message about turning your home into a church, school or mosque to ensure social distancing.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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