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Mkhize pleased with COVID-19 testing progress as cases hit 35,812

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize released the new numbers a short while ago at the close of his tour of Western Cape health facilities.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo visiting various quarantine and isolation facilities in the Western Cape. Picture: @alanwinde/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 35,812, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Tuesday.

Key to the national fight against the disease is the mass testing campaign, especially as the nation gets back to work and relative normality under level three lockdown regulations.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that the testing effort was progressing well across the nation.

"At this stage, 761,534 tests have been done, of which, in the past 24 hours, 18,792 tests have been done."

Mkhize released the new numbers a short while ago at the close of his tour of Western Cape health facilities.

The minister has been touring various facilities in the nation's COVID-19 epicentre over the past two days to assess provincial readiness.

The Western Cape accounts for the vast majority of the nation's cases, with more than 65% of cases recorded here.

'SA NEEDS SOCIAL BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE'

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has emphasised the need for behavioural change in the fight against COVID-19.

He wrapped up a two-day visit to the Western Cape on Tuesday where he assessed the province's readiness to deal with the expected rise in infections.

On Monday, he visited COVID-19 facilities at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), in Khayelitsha and in Brackenfell.

Mkhize started the day at facilities in Ceres, before he moved to Paarl.

There he inspected Sonstraal Hospital, which has a dedicated COVID-19 field hospital to cope with the expected surge in serious cases.

Mkhize said that the aim remained to limit infections so that the health system was not overwhelmed.

"We need social behavioural change. There's the formula, it's going to be like that, we're going to repeat it, we're going to do it everywhere until we get over this thing."

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