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‘We will not lose focus on the rest of the healthcare system’ - Mkhize

Despite much attention and resources being focused on COVID-19, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said TB, hypertension and diabetes remained SA’s leading causes of natural deaths.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said coronavirus remained the top priority because it was new and mortality rates had increased globally. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said tuberculosis (TB), diabetes and hypertension remained the leading causes of natural deaths in the country.

Mkhize addressed the media in East London on Friday afternoon.

“We will not lose focus on the rest of the healthcare system. We will not lose focus on the need to attend to HIV, ART, TB treatment, dealing with cardiovascular disease and cancers.”

He said coronavirus remained the top priority because it was new and mortality rates had increased globally.

“COVID-19 has become a problem because it is a new disease that the human race is not accustomed to, has no immunity against and there is no treatment; and the fact that it spreads so fast is really the one that is causing a lot of concern.”

Mkhize said the number of people being hospitalised for COVID-19 treatment continued to rise.

“The numbers of patients who have been hospitalised have increased in the Western Cape, largely in Gauteng and in the Eastern Cape. So, there is going to be an increase in demand for additional beds – particularly in the high care and ICU departments.”

So far 1,284 people in South Africa have died due to the coronavirus.

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