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EC Health Dept warns province under pressure from rising COVID-19 infections

The province alone has reported an increase of over 1,300 new infections in the last reporting cycle.

FILE: Medical swabs to test for the coronavirus. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Eastern Cape Health Department on Tuesday warned the province’s health system could buckle under pressure if it continued on the same trajectory with rising COVID-19 infections.

The province alone has reported an increase of over 1,300 new infections in the last reporting cycle. That means the Eastern Cape accounts for more than 50% of the entire country’s new 2,080 coronavirus infections.

The head of the province’s project management unit, Sibongile Zungu, warned that the number of medical staff testing positive was also concerning.

“During the lockdown, we could manage because the other activities were not happening, and as this outbreak continued, it was at a time when we were starting to catch up on the normal cases that we work on,” Zungu said.

ALSO READ: SA set for long wait for COVID-19 vaccine as roll out takes shape

The latest coronavirus statistics released on Monday night have raised concerns though, with a positivity rate of more than 14%.

That means out of the more than 14,000 tests conducted, around 2,000 had people tested positive for the virus.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize believes a 10% positivity rate is acceptable, but the latest increase had raised concerns.

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