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Mkhize: We are worried about COVID-19 infection rate in SA

South Africa has recorded its biggest jump in new COVID-19 cases at 1,160.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday said he was not surprised by the rise in coronavirus infections but the rate at which they were rising was worrisome.

South Africa has recorded its biggest jump in new COVID-19 cases at 1,160 reported on Sunday.

The Western Cape accounts for 890 of those.

He said the only comfort that can be taken from this is that South African is in the same situation as the rest of the world.

“And we hope that we ultimately get rid of all the coronavirus problems in the country. But we are worried about the rate of the spread, which is too fast and the trajectory, which is in the Western Cape, is something that has to be intervened upon and we are working on that. But the real issue is, you can’t have one province accounting for over 60% of the figures in the whole country and that province’s population is about 13%-15% of the country’s population.”

He said South Africa would have to re-open the economy before it could see a reduction in COVID-19 infections.

Mkhize said the country had no choice but to open to economy while the numbers were rising.

“People must have food, must go to work and because of that we must open the economy while we can see the infections are rising. When people call and say they don’t like the lockdown, we understand it’s true. I also don’t like it but I don’t it if we had any other option.”

WE DON'T KNOW THE PATTERN OF COVID-19

At the same time, with South Africa's COVID- 19 cases rapidly on the rise, there are fears that our knowledge is limited on how the pandemic will continue to spread on the continent.

Speaking on 702 on Monday morning, member of the ministerial advisory committee professor Glenda Grey said the country had no real way of predicting how the virus would continue to affect South Africans.

“We don’t know how it will unfold in various parts of the world. So, we have lots of variables that are unknown in South Africa. We have HIV/Aids, we have TB, mental health issues, diabetes, hypertension and obesity and we have no way of know how this virus will interact with those immune systems.”