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22 COVID-19 deaths in WC takes SA fatalities to 705

As of this afternoon, the country has a total of 34,357 coronavirus infections, with 16,808 recoveries.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefing the media on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - South Africa has recorded 22 more COVID-19 related deaths, all from the Western Cape, bringing the new death toll to 705.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize made the announcement on Monday afternoon while on his oversight visit to that province.

As of this afternoon, the country has a total of 34,357 coronavirus infections, with 17,291 recoveries.

The Western Cape continues to account for the majority of the cases at 65.7%.

STORM READY

Meanwhile, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that he was satisfied with the progress made in fighting COVID-19 in the Western Cape.

The province has had more than 22,000 infections, with over 9,500 active.

Four hundred and eighty-eight patients have died and almost 900 are hospitalised, with 187 in ICU or high care.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is on a two-day tour of the Western Cape and has already visited field hospitals, including a 862-bed facility at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and a 338-bed site in Brackenfell.

Mkhize is checking on the province’s readiness for the expected massive increase in serious cases of COVID-19 but is also giving guidance and support.

"The work that is going on is really gearing up for a huge surge in the storm that we expect is going to be felt in this part of the country and of course it will be felt in different parts of the country."

The Western Cape currently accounts for 65% of the country’s cases.

Mkhize said that the province's hotspots would receive special attention during level three of the lockdown.

"We've made provisions that these areas such as Cape Town and some of the other nearby districts are going to be described as hot spots, so there are specific interventions related to hot spots."

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