Mkhize: SA has managed to stave off explosion of COVID-19 cases so far

Cases would increase every day, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, but this was to be expected as screening and testing were intensified.

A Gauteng Health Department official collects samples from a man during a door-to-door COVID-19 coronavirus testing drive in Yeoville, Johannesburg, on 3 April 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South Africa has managed to stave off an explosion of COVID-19 cases, at least for now.

Cases would increase every day, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, but this was to be expected as screening and testing were intensified.

The lockdown has, of course, been key to stymying a rapid rise in infections.

There are currently 4,996 cases, 2,073 recoveries and 93 deaths.

But the minister said that those who had contracted the virus were generally healthy.

"Our mortality rate has remained a little lower at about 1.9% which is also attributable as most of the people to date who have acquired the COVID-19 infection are healthy, young individuals and therefore that tends to make them recover fairly quickly."

Frontline health workers were paying the price for their gallant efforts in treating patients.

"The number of health workers who have been infected is about 135. This covers largely the public and private sector and amongst these, there's been some doctors and nurses, technicians and other members of staff."

Mkhize said that so far, one doctor has died.

"However, amongst all of these, there has been one fatality and that was a doctor who had retired in Free State. He had been doing sessions here and there. He had travelled abroad, came back and had contracted COVID-19."

The minister added that health workers were being given adequate personal protective equipment and that their concerns around safety were being addressed.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 28 April 2020 PM

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.